A woman who starved her German shepherd dog has been banned from keeping animals for six years.
Izzy, a long-haired bitch, was found undernourished and surrounded by litter and faeces in the front yard of a house in Seaham, magistrates heard.
Owner Danielle Brass claimed the dog was owned by her six-year-old son, and she had been feeding it, prosecutor Neil Taylor told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.
“The RSPCA inspector could feel the dog’s ribs,” said Mr Taylor. “Izzy weiged 21kg, following two weeks of proper feeding she weighed 30kg.
“The front yard of the house where Izzy was kept was covered in litter and faeces.
“When questioned, Brass claimed she had been giving Izzy a large tin of dog food a day, but that was clearly incorrect.
“Other than starvation, there were no other medical problems with Izzy.”
Brass, 35, of Ash Crescent, Seaham, was charged with causing suffering to an animal and failing to ensure the welfare of an animal, both between May 5 and June 6, this year.
Brass was convicted in her absence at an earlier hearing.
She attended court for sentence after being arrested on a warrant and later bailed.
Liz McGowan, defending, said in mitigation: “I am told the dog is now in good health, so thankfully there has been no long-term damage.
“Ms Brass has signed the dog over to the RSPCA, which should enable them to find it a good home.
“She is a lady with no similar previous convictions, who has had some personal problems.
“Her partner was sentenced to a long period in custody, and Ms Brass has been suffering with depression.”
The bench sentenced Brass to a community order for 12 months, 120 hours of unpaid work, and ordered her to pay £750 costs.
Brass was banned from keeping animals for six years.