A DRUG-DEPENDENT couple who starved their dog because they could not afford to feed it were spared jail by a judge who took pity on them.
Mark Frew (23) and 37-year-old Lisa Sims, of Vickers Street, Warsop, admitted failing to provide nutrition between 2nd-16th January and failing to get veterinary care on 16th January for the dog.
Prosecutor David Payne told Mansfield Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday how German Shepherd bitch Zara was seized by police after an RSPCA inspector discovered her in a ‘thin’ condition at the couple’s home.
“The vet said on a scale of one to five if five was obese and one was emaciated, this would merit a score of less then one-and-a-half,” said Mr Payne.
“The dog also had long nails which gave rise to a belief that there was a lack of exercise.”
Mr Payne said Frew told an interviewer he never walked the dog due to a knee problem and bought food for her but not at all times.
Said Mr Payne: “Mr Frew said ‘I was actively trying to do something about it.’
“He said she was going to be re-homed due to (the couple’s) circumstances.”
Sims said during her interview that she fed Zara between 3-5pm everyday and walked her about four times a week.
It emerged during the hearing that the dog developed ‘behavioural difficulties’ after being handed over by Sims to the RSPCA and had to be destroyed.
As she passed sentence, District Judge Diane Baker the pair: “I think you cared for the dog and loved her but I do not think your lifestyle matches looking after an animal.
“I am aware of the drug and alcohol issues related to you.”
The District Judge gave the pair a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months and banned them from keeping pets for five years.
She said the charity was asking for costs of £1,500 to cover solicitor’s and kennel fees among others but limited the amount to £200 each.