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Woman banned after animal neglect
7:30am Monday 26th August 2013 in News
A MUM who neglected two Staffordshire dogs has been banned from keeping any animals for life.
Donna Hughes, 42, was in tears when she was told her childrens’ two Jack Russell dogs would be seized by RSPCA officers after she left two pets in the December cold with only a woodchip board for shelter.
She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her Staffordshire terrier Becky and Staffordshire cross boxer terrier Tia in Basildon Magistrates’ Court last week.
The court heard how RSPCA officers found the two dogs without food, water or appropriate shelter in Hughes’ home in Hobart Road, Tilbury.
Stuart Cooper, prosecuting, said RSPCA officers said the garden was in “total disarray and dirt”.
He added: “When RSPCA fed the dogs they ate ferociously because they were so hungry.
“Both were examined by a vet who indicated the dogs were significantly underweight.
“Because of the lack of suitable diet or environment they had been caused unnecessary suffering.
“Within a month the dogs had put on more than 4kg each.”
Miss Hughes, a single mum, said she had given the dogs away to friends as she could not look after them.
But they had returned and were staying outside the house. She claimed she only neglected to care for them for five days.
She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the pets and also for failing to answer bail on August 16.
She was ordered to pay £1,621.45 costs and carry out 180 hours unpaid work. She was banned from keeping any animals, and could only appeal the decision after five years.
Her two Jack Russells, who belonged to her teenage children, were seized last week.
Miss Hughes pleaded with chair magistrate Martin Hampson to let her children keep their pets.
Crying, she said: “Please don’t take my children’s dogs away. I have had Tia for ten years, she’s going blind, it’s not my dog it’s my boys’.”
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