Leeds animal cruelty couple's badly neglected dog with bones visible was put to sleep

A  COUPLE from Leeds have been banned from keeping animals for life after one of their two badly neglected dogs had to be put to sleep because it was so ill.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:03 am
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:08 am

Magistrates at Leeds heard West Highland Terrier crossbreed Bella was dehydrated and underweight with her bones visible and she had overgrown nails.

Bella couldn't see because the fur around her eyes was matted with yellow discharge.

She also had an ear infection, cystitis, her teeth were covered in tartar and she had gingivitis.

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Bella was so ill that vets took the decision to put her to sleep.

Michael Richardson, 59, and Beverley Ann Richardson, 54, of Broom Mount, Belle Isle, appeared before Leeds Magistrates’ Court where they admitted to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

They admitted causing unnecessary suffering to their two West Highland Terrier crossbreed dogs Bella and Max by failing to explore and address their poor physical health last September and October.

They also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cat called Scarlett by failing to explore and address her poor physical health.

RSPCA inspector Kris Walker said: “Both dogs were in a terrible state when I first saw them but poor Bella was the worst and sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, vets made the difficult decision to put her to sleep to end her suffering."

Max the dog survived his ordeal

The court heard Bella was suffering from a painful condition called ‘dry eye’ and further tests also found she had chronic kidney problems and a tumour on her liver.

The couple’s other Westie-cross, Max, had a skin condition, ear infection and conjunctivitis.

He was thin, had fleas and his nails were so overgrown that they overlapped causing him difficulty walking.

Max was hospitalised so vets could treat him and he improved over three days.

Following 11 days of intensive treatment his skin, eyes and ears were almost back to normal.

Scarlet the cat was thin and had fur loss, sores and scabs all over her body.

She was given parasite treatment and antibiotics.

In mitigation, the court heard Michael Richardson accepted there was a problem with his pets but didn’t realise how serious it was until the RSPCA intervened.

The court heard Beverley Ann Richardson has no intention of looking after animals in the future due to ill health.

Both were remorseful.

As well as the disqualification, Michael Richardson was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation days.

He was ordered to pay costs of £150 and an £85 victim surcharge.

Beverley Ann Richardson was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation days, ordered to pay costs of £150 and an £85 victim surcharge.

A deprivation order was placed on Max and Scarlett and their ownership will now pass to the RSPCA.

RSPCA Inspector Walker said: “This was an upsetting case to deal with. These animals were clearly suffering and very sadly Bella could not be saved.

" I am very happy that Max and Scarlett will now be able to start their new lives though. The search for new owners for them can now begin.”