Ipswich: Former football starlet jailed after dog left to starve
11:00 18 January 2013
A former Ipswich Town Academy starlet is behind bars today after his flea-infested dog was found starving to death in its own filth.
South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard an experienced RSPCA inspector described Cy Whitham’s case as possibly the worst case he had ever seen.
The 20-year-old, of Defoe Road, Ipswich, admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and failing in his duty to ensure the animal’s welfare and another charge of failing in his duty to ensure an animal’s welfare.
Whitham’s 47-year-old mother Millie, also of Defoe Road, pleaded guilty to the same charges, when they appeared before Ipswich magistrates.
Prosecutor Hugh Rowland said the case related to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named KD, who was found at the Whithams’ former home in Donegal Road.
The bodies of two other decomposed dogs were also discovered in a shed at the property. However, their cause of death could not be determined and no charges were pursued in relation to those animals.
The emaciated KD was discovered when a pest controller was sent to the Donegal Road house on September 26, as there was a flea infestation.
When one of the two upstairs bedroom doors was opened the bull terrier ran out and down the stairs.
The stench from the urine and dog mess in the room was awful, magistrates heard.
The pest controller got the dog two bowls of water to prevent KD scavenging through rubbish.
The court was told RSPCA inspector Jason Finch went to the house to find KD was riddled with fleas, and extremely underweight. There were two bowls for food and water that were empty.
In the shed outside were the decomposed remains of another dog. Two weeks later another dog’s remains were found secreted in the shed.
Three-year-old KD weighed nine kilos when she was found. Ideally she should have weighed between 18 and 20 kilos.
Mr Rowland told the court KD was malnourished, dehydrated, starving and crawling with fleas.
After looking at photographs of the dog, chairman of the bench Diana Hunt said: “It’s amazing its still alive isn’t it?”
Mr Rowland said the dog’s suffering would have occurred over several weeks at least, and when found she was very close to death.
The court heard Inspector Jason Finch, of the RSPCA, said in his experience he could not recall seeing an animal in such a condition, or if he had it would have been a long time ago.
KD, who is now known as Lottie, is now recovering well, the court heard.
The Whithams moved out of Donegal Road on September 3, more than three weeks before she was found.
Millie Whitham said she had run out of money to feed the dog, She last fed her a week after moving out.
Cy Whitham claimed he only left one dog at the property, and could not get back in after moving out.
Both conceded they could have done more to help KD.
Cy Whitham was imprisoned for 18 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for 15 years.
His mother’s sentencing was adjourned until February 5.