Prison for couple who left dogs to starve

A COUPLE who left two dogs to starve to death in padlocked cage — leading to one eating the other — have been handed prison sentences and banned from keeping animals for life.


Aaron Wielding (25) was locked up for 16 weeks, while his partner Selina Ferguson (21) was handed a ten-week jail term suspended for a year for their cruel treatment of Rosie, an 18-month-old brindle bull breed, and American bulldog Buster.

RSPCA inspectors discovered Rosie had been forced to Buster’s body to survive after the bulldog died of starvation.

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The pair of pets had been left to die with no food in a faeces-ridden cage in the freezing cold at the defendants’ home in Staveley Street in Edlington, Doncaster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Wielding and Ferguson admitted failing to provide proper care, failing to provide a suitable environment, causing unnecessary suffering by failing to address the dogs severe emaciation and leaving Rosie — who later died after being found — locked in the pen with her dead kennel-mate without adequate food in January and February this year.

Wielding was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £80 alongside a lifetime disqualification from keeping all animals which he cannot appeal for at least ten years.

Ferguson was given a 20-day rehabilitation order and a ten-week curfew order along with £400 costs and an £80 victim surcharge as well as the lifetime ban from keeping animals which she also cannot appeal for ten years.

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RSPCA inspector Sandra Dransfield said after the sentencing on Thursday: “This was an appalling case and one that will stay with me for a long time.

“Poor Rosie and Buster had been locked in the cage in the garden through freezing temperatures without any food and left there to die in complete filth.

 “Buster, the larger of the two dogs, died first, and in desperation for food Rosie was forced to eat his remains. 

“All we found that was left of him was the upper and lower jaw and atlas bones which had gnaw marks on them. It was truly horrifying. Rosie later died, too.

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“When I visited the property, I asked the defendant for the key to the cage and he went straight to it, which shows he could quite easily done the same to feed the dogs and look after them. 

“He just chose not to. This case was preventable.

“Not only were these dogs so emaciated that they died but we think that the exposure to extreme cold was also a factor in Rosie's death.”

Ms Dransfield added: “There was a huge amount of shock and strength of feeling surrounding this case — not just with the people involved but in the local community, too.

“We would like to thank the individuals who raised money for the RSPCA in memory of Rosie and Buster.”

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