Three members of a Skegness family have been banned from keeping any animals for seven years after admitting neglecting two dogs in their care.
Paul Brown, 28, admitted failing to protect his Labrador Retriever bitch Sandy from pain, suffering or distress by failing to adequately investigate the cause of her poor body condition and weight loss, and also to failing to treat her worm condition.
His mother, Debbie Taylor, 52, admitted failing to protect her German Shepherd bitch Bonnie in the same way and also to failing to treat her son’s dog Sandy for the worm condition.
Brown’s father Peter, 66, the divorced husband of Taylor, was not present in Skegness Magistrates’ Court today (Friday) to face similar charges.
Beris Brickles, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said all three members of the family were responsible for looking after the dogs.
He said that on July 25 last year, RSPCA Inspector Sarah Chambers went to their home at St Andrew’s Drive, Skegness, where she found a large number of dogs and cats in a single room.
He said the dogs were very loud and acting in an aggressive manner but Insp Chambers could see that the two dogs Sandy and Bonnie were quiet and subdued with their ribs clearly visible and a balding area on the back of Sandy.
Mr Brickles said that there were dog faeces all over the floor and no water appeared to be available for the animals.
He said that the two dogs, who are both aged around ten, were seized and taken to a vet who found both dogs to be extremely thin and emaciated and that both dogs had body weights about 20 per cent below what they should have been.
He said it was clear to the vet that both dogs had been receiving inadequate food for a period of weeks.
He added that although neither Brown nor Taylor had agreed to sign their dogs over to the RSPCA.
Mr Brickles added that although Brown had no previous convictions, Taylor had been cautioned by the RSPCA in 2009 for abandoning a number of cats and dogs in a house in Cleethorpes for a number of days.
Mitigating for Brown, Andrea Wilkes said he had owned Sandy since she was a puppy and that he had taken her to a vet in February 2012 because of concerns raised by the RSPCA about the dog’s health but no treatment had been needed.
However, the dog’s condition had deteriorated since then and he accepted he did not take any action about that.
She said he had reading difficulties and it transpired the family had been worming the dog with dosages only suitable for a puppy.
Ms Wilkes added that all animals had now been removed from the house but they did want the dogs back.
The magistrates announced that they would sentence all the defendants the same, including Peter Brown, who had had the opportunity to attend but had not done so.
They were told that the neglect was not a one-off but had accrued over a period of time, during which the RSPCA had tried to work with them.
They ordered that the two dogs be rehomed by the RSPCA and that all three members of the family would be banned from keeping, owning or having custody of any animal for a period of seven years.
They were also ordered to pay £1,500 each towards the total costs of the case of more than £7,200.
The animals remain in the care of the RSPCA.