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6 February 2013, 05:00
An Ipswich woman who starved her dog, locking her in a flat she then moved out of, has been jailed.
A 47-year-old woman has been jailed for three months after admitting abandoning a dog which she and her son left locked in an Ipswich flat with almost no food or water.
The one-year-old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier, now called Lottie, was so emaciated that she weighed just 9.2kg - less than half the recommended weight for her breed.
Millie Whitham of Defoe Road appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 5th, and admitted three animal cruelty offences and was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. She was banned from keeping all animals for 15 years and told she could not appeal for 10 years.
Her son, Cy, aged 20, was sentenced, more than two weeks ago, to 18 weeks in a young offenders institute and banned from keeping all animals for 30 years.
The court was told that the pair left a previous address in Donegal road last September and handed back the keys to the housing association which owned the property.
Upon inspection, the property was found to have been left in such a poor condition – including an infestation of fleas – that the housing association sent a pest controller to the address.
When the pest controller opened the bedroom door, he discovered Lottie who had been shut in the room with only minimal food and water. The room was littered with faeces and pools of urine.
RSPCA inspector Jason Finch said: “When I saw her I couldn’t believe she was still alive – in another 2-3 days she would have been dead.
"Today’s sentence sends a very strong message that it is not acceptable to let an animal get into this position.
"We can all find ourselves with sudden changes of circumstances – but if you feel you cannot cope with your animals because of that, there is help available.”
Lottie is now in the care of the RSPCA’s Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch, at the Martlesham Animal Centre, where she is looking for a new home.
For more details about rehoming Lottie, please contact Martlesham on 01473 623280.