A woman whose dogs were found abandoned and decomposing in a cage has been disqualified from keeping animals for a decade.
The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to neglect when she appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court yesterday (July 23), and was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
She was also ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and banned from keeping animals for 10 years – and cannot appeal for five years.
Hutchinson was fined £400 and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge. The alarm was raised by Hutchinson’s former landlady, who contacted the RSPCA after discovering the bodies of two saluki-type dogs locked in a cage. Both dogs were found decomposed, with no food or water, despite dog food and bowls of rotting food found in the kitchen.
The dogs, called Blake and Brodie, were around eight months old at the time of death. Hutchinson admitted she revisited the property a week after abandoning the dogs and could hear them barking – but stated she was too afraid to look in.
Inspector Claire Wilson said she was pleased with the outcome. “This was the most distressing case I have ever dealt with and the poor dogs clearly suffered for a long time prior to their death.
“This case was so severe and I am pleased the magistrate recognised this and handed out a lengthy ban on keeping animals.”