Mildenhall/Red Lodge: Air force member caused suffering to dogs

Air force member caused suffering to dogs

A SERVING member of the US Air Force has neglected three dogs to the extent that one died and the others were just skin and bone.

Miles Rodriguez, 24, from RAF Mildenhall, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a tan and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dog called Dougie, a Yorkshire Terrier type dog called Louis and a black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dog called Mac.

The defendant, who admitted the charges, failed to provide adequate nutrition for the dogs’ needs between May 29 and June 29 this year at his rented property in Thyme Close, Red Lodge.

Dougie and Louis were both given a body score of one out of nine - the lowest possible score at the veterinary centre at RAF Feltwell - with Dougie weighing 19Ib and Louis 3Ib, drops of 20IB and 1.6Ib respectively.

Veterinary officer Captain Diamond, who examined the dogs, described their condition as “horrible, with both having urgent and rapid decline in their body conditions since they were last examined in March”.

These dogs, which are now recovering, were found at Rodriguez’s home on June 29 when he attended with a staff sergeant to vacate his rented property.

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But Mac was discovered the following week, on July 5, by RSPCA inspector Richard Lythgoe who had gone to the address at Red Lodge.

Hugh Rowland, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “A few metres from the fence he found a black and white plastic dog kennel in which was the decomposing body of a dead dog.”

Veterinary surgeon Hannah Brinsmead, who examined Mac’s carcass, found he was a young canine with most of the skin in place with ribs exposed in places and virtually no muscle covering the pelvis and spine.

Mr Rowland said the story started when Rodriquez and his wife separated in January this year, her leaving the matrimonial home and moving to another address in Suffolk.

She left her dog, Louis, aged about one, with the defendant for him to look after with his own dog Dougie, also aged about one, and he purchased Mac in late January/early February time.

Mr Rowland said Mr Sevi, also a member of the USAF, had helped Rodriguez visit the Red Lodge address as he had no transport, which went on every other day for about a month. The last time he took him was about May 23.

Rodriguez had asked him about rehoming the dogs, but he said he would not be allowed them in his flat.

Then about a month after Mr Sevi last saw the dogs, the defendant was subject to a punishment on base and was confined there.

There was a discussion between Rodriguez and his staff sergeant about the condition in which the property in Red Lodge, which had to be vacated, was left and they went there together.

The staff sergeant encountered what he described as a “terrible smell” and found “two small dogs which were just skin and bone, one which looked as if it was about to die”.

In interviews with the RSPCA the defendant had said he was “very regretful” Dougie and Louis had ended up in that condition, but he claimed he had sold Mac to two individuals he had met in Bury St Edmunds. The magistrates found this claim to be unbelievable.

Rodriguez, who was representing himself, said he was “very sorry for my animals”.

“I had some pretty bad health issues when I was going through some issues with my wife,” he said.

The defendant said these were related to his mental health, anger management and substance abuse.

He is due to be sentenced on October 11.