Ipswich: Man jailed after leaving his dog to starve to death

Lottie, who was found starved in an abandoned home

Lottie, who was found starved in an abandoned home - Credit: Archant

A 20-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed after he and his mother admitted abandoning a dog which they left locked in an Ipswich flat with almost no food or water.

The one-year-old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier – now called Lottie – was so emaciated when she was discovered that she weighed just 9.2kg, less than half the recommended weight for such a breed.

Cy Whitham and his mother Millie Geraldine Whitham, both of Defoe Road, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court this week where they each admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering and one welfare offence, which were committed between September 3 and 26 last year, under the Animal Welfare Act.

Cy Whitham was sentenced to 18 weeks in a young offenders’ institute and banned from keeping all animals for 15 years.

The court was told the pair left a previous address in Donegal Road last September and handed back the keys to the housing association that owned the property.


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Upon inspection, the property was found to be left in such a poor condition – including an infestation of fleas – that the housing association sent a pest controller to the address.

When the pest controller opened the bedroom door, he discovered Lottie – then known as KD – who had been shut in the room with only minimal food and water. The room was littered with faeces and urine.

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RSPCA inspector Jason Finch said: “When the pest controller opened the door, Lottie came straight out and immediately started trying to scavenge for food or anything that she could eat.

“He gave Lottie a couple of biscuits and called us straight away. When I saw her I couldn’t believe she was still alive.

“I’ve not seen a dog that thin for at least ten years, and I’ve been an RSPCA inspector for 13 years. The poor girl looked like a bag of bones.

“When we found her she weighed just 9.2kg, but she should have weighed between 18kg and 20kg.

“Thankfully she’s made a fantastic recovery in our care and now weighs nearly 17kg.”

Millie Geraldine Whitham, 47, will be sentenced on February 5, 2013 after her case was adjourned for reports.

Lottie is now in the care of the RSPCA’s Suffolk East & Ipswich Branch, at the Martlesham Animal Centre, where she is looking for a new home.

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