Copied from Mail Online (21/08/2012)
- Shane Maurice Potts left the animals unattended after moving with his children to stay at his mother’s home
- The dogs were left in appalling conditions with a bag of dog biscuits just out of their reach
A dog owner has been jailed after leaving his two Jack Russell terriers without food for more than a month – resulting in one starving to death with the other forced to eat its remains to stay alive.
Shane Maurice Potts, 29, left the animals unattended after moving with his children to stay at his mother’s home.
Nala, a female, and Simba, a male, were left alone in the house without food and water – with a bag of dog biscuits left just out of their reach on a worktop.
RSPCA inspector Lorna Campbell was called to the property by a concerned member of the public and said she thought she could see a chewed-up dog toy through the window – but soon realised it was the remains of Nala.
Potts admitted failing to provide proper and necessary care and supervision, resulting in the death of Nala and Simba becoming dehydrated and emaciated, for more than four weeks between February 29 and March 31, at an address in Furness Vale, Derbyshire.
He also admitted a second count of causing unnecessary suffering to the two dogs by failing to provide an adequate diet, including the provision of fresh drinking water.
The father from Chinley, High Peak, Derbyshire, was also banned from keeping any animals for ten years and ordered to pay £500 in costs.
Describing the horrific moment she discovered the two dogs, Ms Campbell said: ‘When I saw Simba at the window it was obvious he was emaciated and when I looked in I saw what I thought was a toy he’d chewed up.
‘It took a moment before I realised the full horror of what it actually was, the remains of Nala. It was devastating.’
Ms Campbell said Simba was so thirsty when inspectors got into the house that he raced past them to try and drink from a bowl of dirty water in the garden that had cigarette butts floating in it.
She continued: ‘The conditions in the house were terrible. The place was covered in faeces and the floor was slippery with urine.
‘There was a shredded dog food bag on the floor, an empty tub of gravy granules and chewed towels and of course what was left of his companion.
‘Tragically, there was a bag of dog biscuits on the worktop which it looked as though the dogs had been trying to reach, but it was just too high.’
After being signed over to the RSPCA, Simba recovered and has been rehomed.
The RSPCA had offered advice to Potts in July last year, given him neutering vouchers and re-homed a third dog that he had at the time.
Potts’ solicitor told the court he was finding it difficult to manage his responsibilities and had moved in with his mother to help, the RSPCA said.
He and his children had moved in to his mother’s house in Chapel-en-le-Frith with another female Jack Russell that he said did not get on with the others. She was signed over to the RSPCA and re-homed.
Following today’s sentence, Ms Campbell said: ‘I’m pleased that the court has viewed this case with the seriousness it deserved and have sentenced accordingly.
‘The ban on keeping animals is always the most important thing to the RSPCA, as it’s the best way of protecting other animals in future.’