Pet ban for for former Barrow man who starved dog
A STARVING dog was left to chew through tin cans for food, a court heard.
Michael McDonald, 20, failed to feed the dog for up to four weeks, and it was found by RSPCA officers in a severely emaciated condition.
He has been banned indefinitely from owning any animal after being found guilty of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal and causing unnecessary suffering.
The case follows one in Grimsby, where a Staffordshire cross had been so badly neglected he was forced to eat part of his starved mother's dead body just to survive.
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Nigel Burn, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told North Lincolnshire Magistrates' Court that McDonald, formerly of Glanford Grove, Barrow, was put in charge of the dog while his mother looked for somewhere to live.
Mr Burn said: "The defendant clearly has difficulty looking after himself, never mind any other animals.
"The disqualification from owning an animal will mean that he won't be able to be in this situation again."
Officers attended the property on December 27 over concerns about the wellbeing of the dog.
McDonald, who now lives in Hull, told officers at the time that everything was fine.
"Then, on January 26, the electricity board obtained a warrant and contacted officers after finding a dog in a clearly emaciated state," Mr Burn said.
Vet Anna Hugenholtz, who visited the house at the request of the RSPCA, said: "Upon entering the address, I noticed that the floor was very wet and there was a stench of urine.
"The kitchen was littered with household rubbish and tin cans that had been chewed through by the dog. There was also dog faeces on the floor that had been there for some time, as mould was growing on it."
Mrs Hugenholtz believed the dog had suffered from lack of food for up to four weeks.
"I carried out further examination on the young male dog and found it to be emaciated," she said.
"The dog weighed 11.6kg and had mild conjunctivitis in its left eye.
"I was of the opinion this was due to insufficient diet for a dog of its size."
After being taken in to the care of the vets, the dog went from 11.6kg to 18.5kg in just four months.
In a pre-sentence report on McDonald, his mother, who was not named, admitted leaving the dog in his care, but added: "Michael can't even look after himself properly."
Richard Lunn, mitigating, said: "He did not actively mistreat the dog."
McDonald was ordered to pay court costs of £500 and a vets bill of £48.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "We are satisfied with the sentence and it reflects the seriousness of the offence."