A dog subjected to the one of the worst cases of suffering seen by an RSPCA inspector in ten years weighed less than HALF the weight she should have and had to be put down immediately because she was so emaciated, a court heard.
German Shepherd cross Queenie weighed only 7.5 kilos and Inspector Stuart Wainwright said: “I have seen dogs in better conditions that were dead.”
Queenie’s owner, Sara Loche, 37, was convicted in her absence at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court, North East Lincs., for the cruelty and a warrant was issued for her to appear before the court to face a ban on keeping pets in the future.
Prosecuting, Rachel Taylor said Sara Loche had caused unnecessary suffering to Queenie by neglect and failing to investigate the dog‘s weight loss.
Ms Taylor said: “She knew it would have the effect of suffering.”
Sara Loche’s husband, Richard, 46, had previously appeared at court for a similar offence and was given a ten year ban on keeping pets.
He also received a 12-month community order.
Inspector Wainwright described raising the alarm and bringing the tan and black cross-breed female to the vets in a collapsed state.
He told the court: “She was terribly emaciated – the worst I have ever seen.”
In an interview with Queenie’s owners, Richard and Sara Loche claimed they had fed the dog two or three meals each day and they explained the dog’s weight had fluctuated.
However, chief vet at The Blue Cross Animal Hospital, Susan Knox, said the dog had collapsed upon arrival and was unable to stand with a very slow heart rate and protruding ribs, shoulder bones, spine and hip bones.
Queenie’s muscles were wasting and there was severe loss of fat around the dog’s organs.
Ms Knox said: “It showed signs that the dog’s needs had not been met and it was a thoroughly poorly-looking dog.”
She confirmed there had been no underlying illness and that the dog was put down with the owner’s consent.
Concluding the case, Deputy District Judge, Nick Hayles said the case against Sara Loche, who did not turn up at court, was proved.
He said unnecessary suffering had been caused by neglect and failure to investigate Queenie’s weight loss and the owner knew the effect of that was suffering.
Judge Hayles said: “It would have been several weeks and days to get to that state.
“The cause of the animal’s suffering was failure to care.”
He said he accepted the evidence of the RSPCA inspector entirely and that Sara Loche was responsible for the care of Queenie.
He said: “She had not noticed the dog was becoming below par.”
After the hearing, Inspector Wainwright said the RSPCA was pleased Sara Loche had been found guilty.
He said: “We are very pleased that she has been found guilty and Mr Loche was convicted.
“We will have to wait for the sentence. It was in the worse condition I have ever seen a dog alive. I have only seen them like that when dead.
“I have seen dogs in better condition that were dead. It was shocking.”