A woman from Ferryhill, County Durham has been sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of three dogs following a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

 

Nicole Jones (D.O.B 11.05.2000) of Kitchener Terrace  appeared before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court last week (Wednesday 22 May).

 

She pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at a hearing earlier this month (18 May).*  Dogs in house

 

As well as being disqualified from keeping animals for ten years, with no appeal to have this lifted for seven years, she was sentenced to 12 weeks’ in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to undertake a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. She was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

 

RSPCA inspector Garry Palmer attended Jones’ home on 12 January this year.

 

He said: “I could see through the window that the conditions inside were awful with dog faeces and household rubbish littered throughout.

 

“There was a young tan and white crossbreed curled up on the floor dead next to a chewed-up Pot Noodle pot.

 

Gypsy at vets“Two surviving dogs, a young male Rottweiler called Bronson and a grey long-haired lurcher called Gypsy, were both obviously very underweight. Gypsy was laid out on a settee and appeared very weak and listless. She barely moved when I knocked on the window.

 

“When we got inside we found a tub of fence paint in the house had been knocked over revealing paw prints on top of the worktops and even inside the empty fridge.

 

“It was a very upsetting scene.”.

 

The surviving dogs were immediately taken to a veterinary surgery for urgent treatment.  Gypsy was very emaciated. As soon as she was offered food and water she ate and drank immediately.  She continued to eat well whilst she was hospitalised, being fed small amounts four times a day, and she gained 45% of her original body weight (11.8kg) in less than three weeks.

 

Sadly Bronson was put to sleep on veterinary advice.

 

Inspector Palmer described the dead dog in the house as the most underweight dog he had ever encountered whilst being employed with the RSPCA. He said: “In my opinion this is as bad as it gets – depriving animals of their basic needs of food and water and as a consequence one dog paid the ultimate price.Gypsy in new home

 

“The RSPCA had given Jones advice in September yet she ignored this advice and made things worse by taking on a third dog in the meantime.

 

“She could have easily contacted the RSPCA for help.”

 

In mitigation the court heard that Jones had mental health problems and that she had no previous convictions.

 

Gypsy has come on leaps and bounds after her ordeal and has since been rehomed through one the RSPCA’s animal centres.

 

Inspector Palmer revealed: “Anyone who knows me well knows that it takes a lot to choke me up, but seeing the after photos of Gypsy now definitely puts a lump in my throat.”

 

*The full offences Jones pleaded guilty to are:

  1. Between 1 December 2018 and 12 January 2019 at an address on Kitchener Terrace, Ferryhill, Durham, you did cause unnecessary suffering to three dogs, namely two Lurchers known as Ruby and Gypsy and a Rottweiler type dog known as Bronson, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of their declining body condition which you knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause the said animals to suffer unnecessarily or be likely to do so, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

  1. Between 1 December 2018 and 12 January 2019 at an address on Kitchener Terrace, Ferryhill, Durham, you did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of animals for which you were responsible, namely two Lurchers known as Ruby and Gypsy and a Rottweiler type dog known as Bronson, were met to the extent required by good practice in that you failed to provide them with a suitable diet which included access to fresh water, contrary to Section 9(1)(b) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

  1. Between 1 December 2018 and 12 January 2019 at an address on Kitchener Terrace, Ferryhill, Durham, you did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of animals for which you were responsible, namely two Lurchers known as Ruby and Gypsy and a Rottweiler type dog known as Bronson, were met to the extent required by good practice in that you failed to provide them with a suitable environment, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.