Ryan McNulty and Sarah Ann Jordan, both of Selbourne Close, Woodchurch, Wirral, pleaded guilty to one offence each of failing meet the needs of their four French bulldogs, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at an earlier hearing (29 April).
Millie, Marcello, Maisie and an unnamed white coloured puppy were found kept in training crates which were bare. The pups had no access to bedding, food or water with only empty or upturned bowls. The crates were covered in faeces and vets concluded this suggested the dogs either spent an excessive amount of time in their crates or that they were cleaned extremely infrequently.
The court heard how RSPCA Inspector Lisa Lupson, who led the investigation for the animal welfare charity, requested police assistance after being denied access to the dogs on multiple occasions.
In her statement read out in court she said, “As soon as the dogs were let out of the crates they immediately ran straight outside and directly to a plastic container which contained rainwater and began drinking in desperation. It was like they had never seen water in their lives before. They were obviously incredibly thirsty and I was shocked by how eagerly they drank over what seemed to be a long amount of time.
She added, “All three dogs were in a very lean body condition with ribs visible. Their fur was also incredibly greasy, smelly and appeared to be caked in faeces.”
Police took the dogs into possession and Inspector Lupson took them to the charity’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital. A vet who examined the four dogs stated she felt they were likely to experience suffering if their circumstances did not change due to the conditions of their environment.
The veterinary report concluded: “The owners of these four dogs failed to meet their needs and this may have caused them to experience significant distress and a poor quality of life”
On Thursday 27 May, magistrates at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court disqualified the pair from keeping all animals for two years.
McNulty was sentenced to an 18-month community order to include 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Jordan was sentenced to a 12-month community order, to include 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, and fined £100. Both were ordered to pay £250 costs each. A deprivation order was issued which will allow the RSPCA to find the dogs new homes once the 21-day appeal period has passed.