A MAN who had “serious and sustained disregard” for the welfare of two dogs and six newborn puppies has been banned from keeping animals for life.
Mark Anthony Booth (35), of Wingfield Road, Rotherham, left the flea-infested dogs alone in his faeces-covered home after one had given birth in cold conditions.
Booth pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (8).
He also admitted not taking reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the two dogs and six puppies were met.
The three animal cruelty offences occurred between September 1 and 28, 2019.
The court heard Booth had a “serious and sustained disregard” for their welfare.
He caused unnecessary suffering to dog Bella by failing to treat her skin condition and failed to tackle dog Gypsey’s poor condition.
The court heard, in mitigation, that Booth had suffered from depression.
He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, given an eight-week curfew and ordered to pay costs of £150.
The dogs were discovered by police and the RSPCA at a property in Ochre Dike Walk after authorities were contacted by a concerned member of the public.
Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Leanne Booth said: “The property was in darkness but I could see through the windows using a torch.
“There were faeces all over the property. I could hear the sound of young puppies crying, one of which sounded distressed.”
Bella, a young white Staffordshire bull terrier, was found in the “cold, dark property” (pictured, below) with a severe flea infestation, fur loss, skin irritation and self-trauma from chewing due to fleas.
Gypsey, a young black lurcher, was found nestled into a corner of a bedroom having pulled the stuffing out of some cushions to nest, surrounded by her newborn puppies and their placentas.
She was severely underweight with prominent ribs and pelvis and very little body fat. She also had a severe flea infestation.
Insp Booth said the puppies were "very cold and wet" having been born just a few hours earlier.
The animals were rushed to a vet where one puppy with wounds, believed to have been caused by another dog, was put to sleep due to the severity of his injury.
The remaining puppies were dried and warmed using heat pads. Gypsey settled and allowed her puppies to start suckling but the smallest puppy was quite weak and not suckling.
Despite Insp Booth hand-feeding him overnight, he died.
Bella and Gypsey were treated with rapid-acting flea treatment and provided with food and water. Within 24 hours Bella’s skin was less inflamed and she was no longer itching or scratching.
The four surviving puppies all gained weight over the following days and showed signs of normal development.
The RSPCA said had they been left in the environment they were born in, they would have been at high risk of anaemia and death due to fleas.