A neglectful pet owner has been banned from keeping animals after one of her dogs was found dead in a cage and another was found emaciated.
The case was described by a magistrate as probably the worst he had seen in 20 years.
Patricia Brown, aged 33, was also given a prison sentence suspended for 12 months when she appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court, having pleaded guilty to four charges of poor care of her two dogs at an earlier hearing.
RSPCA workers found one of the Staffordshire bull terrier crosses, a 12-month-old puppy named Sugar, lying dead in a cage in the garden of Brown’s home, in Myatt Avenue, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, last November, the court heard.
Mr Roger Price, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the second dog, named Shia, was also found in the cage.
He added: “The cage is exposed to the elements. The dog was dirty, particularly in its hind legs. There was a large amount of faeces in the bottom of the cage. There was no bedding or dry area.” Both dogs were seized and taken to a vet for examination.
A post mortem found ulcerations and lesions on one of Sugar’s legs and elbows, and that the dog had lost significant amounts of fat and muscle, Mr Price said.
Mr Price added that Shia’s body was in a similarly poor condition, but said she gained weight quickly once put into kennels.
Mr Ravi Dev, defending, said mother-of-one Brown suffered from depression and found comfort in her pets. He added that because of her mental state she had not realised the dogs needed extra care.
Mr Dev said: “She regrets and is remorseful for her actions. She didn’t realise that she should seek help because the dog wasn’t gaining weight and then it was too late.
“She doesn’t try to excuse what happened but she wasn’t in the right frame of mind.”
Mr Clive Westwood, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said it was ‘probably the worst case he had seen in 20 years’.
He handed Brown a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and that she carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. Brown was further ordered to pay £450 costs, an £80 victim surcharge and was disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years.
She had previously admitted two charges over the poor care of Sugar, and two charges over failing to provide a proper diet for Shia.