Women who left dogs to suffer slow, lingering deaths banned from keeping pets for ten years
TWO cruel women allowed dogs to suffer the "horror and pain" of slow, lingering deaths by leaving them to starve for weeks until they died in agony.
One of the suffering dogs was found dead in "horrendous" conditions – among swarms of flies – after being locked in a toilet and abandoned by her owner for about six weeks.
She is believed to have deliberately ignored the dog's pain and suffering – even though she would clearly have been able to see its distress every day through her window.
Both women have now been banned from owning or keeping any animals for ten years. Both cases were brought by the RSPCA.
The dog owned by Laura Shaw, 23, died in horrific and squalid conditions – with mess and urine all over the place – after being callously abandoned.
Nigel Burn, prosecuting, said that the dead dog was found in a downstairs toilet at Shaw's former home in Shelley Avenue, Grimsby.
There was an "overpowering foul stench" and the house was swarming with large flies.
Empty plates and a bowl were found and it looked as though they had been bitten by the black cross-bred dog, Lulu, in a desperate attempt to find something to eat.
The stench of the dead dog was "horrendous", said Mr Burn.
Shaw, now of no fixed address, admitted two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by failing to provide veterinary care between April 2 and May 14 and leaving it unattended without adequate food and water between May 14 and August 9.
She claimed that she was scared to seek help after the dog's condition deteriorated but, when she was asked about the death, she admitted: "It must have been traumatic and it must have been lonely and scared."
Lauren Fisher, mitigating, said Shaw claimed the dog stopped eating and drinking and that she tried giving it milk and different dog food brands.
"Things spiralled out of control," said Miss Fisher.
"She did not get the help that was necessary for the dog and neglected her duty as an owner to take the dog to the vet's."
Shaw's former home was burgled after windows were smashed and a large amount of her property was stolen, causing her "extreme unhappiness".
She left the house "feeling scared and unable to cope" and abandoned the dog, who was aged about 18 months to two years. She was ashamed of her actions.
Probation officer Graham Marshall said Shaw had been a mental health support worker for about four years but lost her job and later "drank to oblivion every day whenever she could".
Unemployed mother-of-two Shaw had more than £10,000 of debts.
Deputy district judge Sam Goozee told Shaw: "You have committed a cruel and despicable offence. The pictures I have seen show the horror and pain that Lulu must have gone through in what was a very slow death.
"The conditions in which she was found are disgusting and she clearly had been dead for a while.
"You left Lulu to die, having absolutely no regard for what she was going to go through.
"Anyone who owns an animal must care and look after it.
"Looking after an animal brings responsibility and you simply ignored those responsibilities.
"Can you imagine what it would be like if a child went through what Lulu did? As an adult, you would never place a child in that position and you should not place an animal in that position."
As well as 200 hours' unpaid work and the ban, Shaw was ordered to pay £150 costs.
THERE can really be very little excuse for cruelty to animals of any kind.
In today's tough economic climate, caring for a pet – however big or small – can be fairly expensive, especially if they fall ill.
Vets bills can really add up and lead to difficult situations for some.
But there are organisations that exist to help, and would never knowingly turn down a request for someone who was genuine in their need for help with care or treatment.
There are occasions when ignorance may well play a part.
A very elderly person who relies on their cat or dog for company could be guilty of unconscious neglect – not noticing when a feline has fleas, for example.
However, there are many, many cases when people are just downright cruel – and they certainly do have the ability to care for the animals they have been charged to look after, or to take action to ensure they are looked after elsewhere.
They are guilty and should be made to realise the suffering and trauma that an animal will feel when in that situation. Their behaviour is simply unacceptable.
Do you have an animal and have you noticed a rise in the cost of looking after it, or are you struggling. Let us know by commenting on this story.