Man jailed after court hears his neglected dogs were on the brink of dying from starvation

Sean Powell, 27, of Woodchurch, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to crossbreeds Marley and Zina

A Wirral man who neglected his two dogs was jailed and banned from keeping animals 10 years after a court heard his pets were a week from death.

Sean Powell, of Hoole Road, Woodchurch, appeared in Wirral Magistrates Court charged with causing unnecessary suffering to crossbreeds Marley and Zina between March 4 and 18 this year.

Powell, 27, admitted the charge and also pleaded guilty to failing to provide them with a suitable environment and failing to protect them from suffering.

The court heard RSPCA inspectors who visited Powell’s home found the dogs were underweight and living in a faeces-covered yard – and were so hungry they fought over food that was passed to them.

District Judge Michael Abelson said Powell, who has a string of previous convictions for violence, criminal damage and robberies, was a “criminal who also mistreats animals”.

RSPCA prosecutor Chris Murphy said: “The rear garden was muddy and full of faeces. A pan near the back door had a small amount of water in it.

“There were two dogs, one was male, one was female. The dogs were obviously underweight. Their ribs and spines were obviously visible.

“The inspector said he felt the female dog was in a worse condition, finding it difficult to sit down. It appeared to be in some discomfort when doing so.

Sean Powell of Hoole Road, Woodchurch, arriving at Wirral Magistrates Court

“Food was passed over to the dogs and they fought over it.

“It seemed that food hadn’t been provided for some time.”

Marley was examined by vet Holly James, who found he weighed 18.5kg, 3.5kg less than a healthy weight. He was dehydrated and emaciated, with a body score of just 1 out of 9.

Zina was also emaciated, had the same body condition score and weighed 14.7kg, almost 18kg less than a healthy weight of 18kg.

Mr Murphy added: “The state of the dogs mean they would have been in the yard for at least two weeks. If the dogs had been there for a further week or 10 days in the same conditions, then they may well have died.”

The court was told Powell had ADHD and suffered from depression.

Jailing him for three months, Judge Abelson said: “Most right-minded members of the public simply cannot understand why people would do this to animals. It is just dreadful.

“They were his pets. They were desperate for food and water. He is responsible for them and he’s not interested – that’s the problem.

“Anyone who cares for animals does not treat them like this.

“I can show no leniency to you.”

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said Marley and Zina were now at healthy weights after being signed over to the charity and were looking for new homes.

Their story will be featured in an episode of Channel 5’s The Dog Rescuers on Tuesday, July 28 at 8pm.

He said: “Somebody’s gone into court today and I imagine he had no thought that he would spend the next few weeks in a prison cell.

“I think it sends a strong message out that if you neglect animals, you can expect fully to come into a courtroom and be sent to prison.

“These dogs were a number of days away from being dead. They are now both at ideal weights and they look like different dogs.

“One of the most heartbreaking things for me was that when I offered them food, animal instincts kicked in and they attacked each other. In today’s society animals should not have to do that.”

[Source Story: HumansLovingAnimals ]