Sunderland dog owner gets five-year ban for starving her pets

UNDERWEIGHT: The dogs had conjunctivitis and were unable to walk properly.

UNDERWEIGHT: The dogs had conjunctivitis and were unable to walk properly.

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A DOG owner has been banned from keeping animals for five years after two of her dogs were found starving.

Great Danes Merlin and Miley were significantly underweight, unable to walk properly and had conjunctivitis, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

Judith Curry, prosecuting, said an RSPCA inspector visited the home of Angela Sinclair after a tip-off.

No one answered the door but the inspector was able to see the two dogs in a distressed state at the back of the premises.

Mrs Curry said: “The inspector called police and when an officer knocked on the door, it was answered.

“Ms Sinclair was unable to give much of an explanation for the dogs’ condition, other than to say one dog had been taking all the food she had put out.”

The court heard both dogs were about a year old.

A vet found Merlin to be 12kg underweight, and Milo – a bitch – was 8kg underweight.

“Both dogs were suffering from conjunctivitis,” added Ms Curry. “The vet concluded they had not been fed properly for at least two months.”

The court was told the dogs were put in boarding kennels by the RSPCA where they gained weight quickly and are now in reasonably good health, although the lack of food has stunted their growth.

Sinclair, 42, of Partick Road, Pennywell. Sunderland, admitted four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between December, 2012, and February of this year.

Her son, Keith, 23, formerly of the same address, denied the same charges.

No evidence was offered against him after the court heard he had no responsibility for the dogs.

Tom Morgan, defending, said in mitigation: “Ms Sinclair had a Japanese Akita dog for 16 years without any problems with its care. She suffered from bipolar disorder after a child she gave birth to died shortly after birth.

“Her husband left her a year ago, and now her son has left to live with his father.

“Ms Sinclair was left largely alone, and was not dealing with things well.

“She is saddened and ashamed by what she allowed to happen to the dogs.”

The bench banned Sinclair from keeping animals for five years, and ordered her to pay 
£750 in fines and costs.

Merlin and Miley were transferred to the permanent care of the RSPCA.