Teenage girl who allowed two dogs to starve to death after buying a third despite RSPCA advice is banned from keeping pets for ten years

A 19-year-old who allowed two of her dogs to starve to death despite an RSPCA warning has been banned from keeping pets for ten years. 

Nicole Jones, from County Durham, was slammed with the ban after the authorities found the severely malnourished animals left to forage among the junk scattered inside her home. 

According to RSPCA inspectors, one dog was found dead next to a chewed up Pot Noodle carton while another was rescued by the charity but had to be put to sleep because it was so emaciated.

The pets knocked over a pot of paint and left trail prints all over the surfaces and inside the fridges as they desperately searched for food.  

Jones, who was 18 at the time of the offences, escaped an immediate jail sentence but was banned from keeping animals for ten years.

RSPCA inspector Garry Palmer attended Jones‘ home on January 12 this year.

He said: ‘I could see through the window that the conditions inside were awful with dog faeces and household rubbish littered throughout. 

‘There was a young tan and white crossbreed curled up on the floor dead next to a chewed-up Pot Noodle pot.‘

Two surviving dogs, a young male Rottweiler called Bronson and a grey long-haired lurcher called Gypsy, were both obviously very underweight. 

Inspector Palmer added: ‘Gypsy was laid out on a settee and appeared very weak and listless. She barely moved when I knocked on the window.

‘When we got inside, we found a tub of fence paint in the house had been knocked over revealing paw prints on top of the worktops and even inside the empty fridge. It was a very upsetting scene.‘

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The surviving dogs were immediately taken to a veterinary surgery for emergency treatment. 

One of the dog‘s, Gypsy, was immediately offered food and water and continued to eat well while hospitalised.

As the canine was regularly fed, she gained 45 per cent of her original body weight (11.8kg) in less than three weeks.

However another dog,  Bronson, was put to sleep on veterinary advice. 

Inspector Palmer described the dead dog in the house as the most underweight dog he had ever encountered whilst being employed with the RSPCA. 

He said: ‘In my opinion this is as bad as it gets – depriving animals of their basic needs of food and water and as a consequence one dog paid the ultimate price.‘

The RSPCA had given Jones advice in September, yet she ignored this advice and made things worse by taking on a third dog in the meantime. 

In mitigation, the court heard that Jones had mental health problems and had no previous convictions.

Gypsy has recovered from her ordeal and been rehomed through one the RSPCA‘s animal centres.

Inspector Palmer added: ‘Anyone who knows me well knows that it takes a lot to choke me up, but seeing the after photos of Gypsy now definitely puts a lump in my throat.‘

Jones, from Ferryhill, County Durham, admitted three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at a hearing earlier this month.

As well as being disqualified from keeping animals for ten years, with no appeal to have this lifted for seven years, she was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to undertake a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.