Worksop man who starved puppy banned from keeping animals

Penny, before she was taken into RSPCA care.
Penny, before she was taken into RSPCA care.

A Worksop man who failed to properly feed or water his pet Dalsation puppy for three months has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Workmen at Alastair Watt’s Sherwood Road home raised the alarm when they saw eight-month-old Penny, in a crate with no food and water, said prosecutor Louise O’Driscoll.

Penny, as she is today.

Penny, as she is today.

They were so shocked by her emaciated appearance that they contacted the RSPCA.

As well as the ten-year disqualification order, Watt was also fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £650 costs, along with a £140 victim surcharge.

A deprivation order was also made for Penny who will now pass into the care of the RSPCA.

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Becky Harper said: “As soon as I saw Penny I knew that something wasn’t right. She was so thin and you could see her hip bones, spine and ribs. She was also very nervous but clearly desperate for food.

“She weighed 9kg, which is far from what she should have weighed, and vets gave her an extremely low body score of one out of nine. As soon as we gave her some food she wolfed it down - she was so hungry.

“It was clearly obvious that she was in a state of neglect. It was very quickly proven that there were no underlying health issues and her poor condition was simply due to not being provided with a suitable diet.

“It is not acceptable to leave an animal to suffer in the state that she was in.”

The dog, who has been in RSPCA foster care since February and has made a full recovery, will be available for rehoming soon.

“Happily, Penny is now a normal, healthy, happy young dog,” added Inspector Harper.

Watt, 45, denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, between November 17, 2016, and February 17, 2017, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on September 6, but finally admitted the offence, before trial, on Wednesday.

Chair Richard Eaton said: “This is a very serious matter. It’s been suggested that you may not have recognised the extent of the dog’s weight loss or suffering.

“We find that very, very difficult to believe. Because of the extent of the weight loss and the visible nature of the suffering - it is something we can’t accept.

“Had the builders not intervened, we don’t know what would have happened.

“The harm in this instance is high. It has passed the custodial threshold. In any other circumstances, we would be sending you to prison.

“You do need to understand just how close you have come to going off to Nottingham prison. There has been a complete and utter failure to look after the dog.”

Probation officer Isobel Peach said Watt, an aircraft technician, had no previous convictions, and was “very remorseful” and “genuinely sorry.”

She said: “He accepts responsibility. He should have been more involved in the care of the dog, by taking it to the vet and increasing its food.”

David Verity, mitigating, said Watt had relied on his daughter to look after the animal, and didn’t realise it had lost weight.

He said a prison sentence would mean Watt lost his livelihood, and would have a severe impact on his family.

Watt was banned from owning an animal for ten years, but he can appeal the decision after five years.