A CRUEL pet owner who subjected three dogs to “serious neglect and suffering,” resulting in one of them dying of dehydration, has been handed a suspended jail term and banned from keeping animals for 12 years.
Luke Thompson was sentenced to ten weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, along with 150 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Rotherham Magistrates' Court.
He was also fined £450 after admitting causing the unnecessary suffering of two Sharpei-type dogs named “Miller” and “Sasha” by failing to provide an adequate diet for them.
The 25-year-old also failed to give adequate veterinary attention to an American bulldog which died as a result of dehydration.
Prosecuting solicitor Mr Brian Osborn told the court that in October last year RSPCA inspector Leanne Booth went to a vacant house on Warwick Street, Rotherham, where she found the two Sharpeis, which were close to being emaciated.
The court also heard that she found a dead bulldog lying behind curtains in the same house.
The report from the RSPCA read out in court suggested the bulldog had been dead for at least two days before it was discovered.
It went on to say that the dog was extremely thin and that a foreign body had been found inside its intestine.
This, the report said, caused the dog to dehydrate, as no food or water was able to enter its body.
Mr Osborn added: “It would have been painfully obvious to Mr Thompson that this dog clearly wasn’t very well.”
In a statement read out in court by Mr Osborn, Thompson, of Morley Road, Doncaster, said: “If I didn’t have enough money for food I just used to leave water down for them.”
Defending solicitor Mrs Suzie James said: “This is a very sad case in relation to the dog that passed away.
“Mr Thompson is a young man with a number of difficulties but he accepts full responsibility for the dogs.
“He’s not a young man who thinks this type of treatment to animals acceptable.
“He is remorseful and was extremely fond of those dogs but was not brought up with any family pets.
“He is a gentle man with many learning difficulties who is trying everything he can to deal with his problems.”
District Judge Mr John Foster told Thompson: “You have not looked after these animals.
“The fact that these dogs had little to eat and had been locked up in a house for a long amount of time, it seems clear to me that you have not looked after them at all, and has resulted in one of them dying.
“This is a serious neglect and suffering of these animals and in this case a suspended prison sentence is appropriate.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “These dogs were in a dreadful state when the RSPCA intervened.
“One of them, a 15-month-old American bulldog called Bonnie, died because of Mr Thompson’s inaction and that is unforgivable.
“It was a happier ending for the two Sharpei-types, Miller and Sasha. After a lot of care they’ve now been happily rehomed.
“If you have an animal in your care you are responsible for meeting its needs, whatever the circumstances, and Mr Thompson failed in that.
“Hopefully the sentence passed today will prevent any further animals suffering the same.”