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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Carlisle couple banned from owning pets after dogs starved

A couple have been banned from owning any animal after their pets were found to be flea-riddled and starving.

Starved dog photo
Sammy the German Shepherd

Heart-breaking photos show how emaciated white German Shepherd dogs Sapphire and Sammy were when they were taken into care.

An investigation was launched after Colin Chester, 35 and Kirsty Kendall, 22, contacted Second Chance, a German Shepherd rescue charity, to ask them to take their dog.

The couple, from Raffles Avenue, Carlisle, handed over responsibility of Sapphire, a white dog believed to be less than a year old. The charity was so horrified by the state of the animal, they took her to the vet and contacted the RSPCA.

Inspector Chris Towler, from the Cumbria and North Lancashire branch of the RSPCA, said he went to the property, with the support of the police.

“We found a further dog in the premises,” he continued. “It was an adult female, white German Shepherd by the name of Sammy.

“This dog was also emaciated and running with fleas and the property smelled of urine and ammonia.”

Inside the house the inspector also discovered a cat named Tigger which, while not as starved as the dogs, was also thin and infested with fleas.

Chester appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on July 13, where he pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to meet the needs of the three animals, and one charge of causing suffering to the two dogs due to their emaciated condition.

As well as the five-year ban, he was ordered to complete 210 hours of unpaid work and to pay £500 towards the RSPCA’s prosecution costs.

Kendall denied the same allegations, but was convicted at the same court.

Following mitigation, she was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £300 towards the animal charity’s costs in addition to her ban.

Mr Towler said: “Throughout the case, lack of finance was clearly an issue. While I appreciate that in these times everybody’s tight with money, there are plenty of assisting charities out there who could have helped to prevent this matter and the ultimate suffering of the animals concerned.”

He praised Second Chance for their initial action, and for their subsequent help in fostering and then rehoming all three pets.

“It has been a good outcome for all three animals,” Mr Towler added, “and I hope Mr Chester and Miss Kendall think very hard about what they have done.”

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