COUNTY NEWS: Man banned from keeping animals after leaving dog to die in empty house

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A Sussex man has been banned from keeping all animals for five years after leaving his dog to die of starvation and dehydration.

David Farrell, 47, of Ashdown Road, Bexhill, appeared for sentencing at Hastings Magistrates’ Court this morning (Tuesday, September 20) having previously been found guilty of failing to meet the needs of a Staffordshire bull terrier called Gus, at a trial in his absence in March 2016.

The RSPCA was called in May 2015 after Gus was found dead in Farrell’s previous home, Hollington Old Lane, St Leonards. The police had been contacted by a neighbour, who had noticed a smell, and so broke into the house to find the distressing sight of the dog’s dead body.

The RSPCA investigated and learned Farrell had left the home, with Gus alone in it, two months earlier in March 2015. He claimed he had told a friend to feed and walk the dog but then lost touch with him.

RSPCA inspector Alison Edwards said: “Who knows how long it took this poor dog to die alone in that home.

“We found him curled up on the kitchen floor surrounded by faeces and empty bowls of food.

“His suffering was just so unnecessary. No one was checking on him, or giving him care. He had simply been shut in a house alone and left to die.

“Simply following up to make sure this dog was cared for would have saved his life and saved the lonely, prolonged death that we can only suppose he suffered.”

A vet estimated the dog had been dead for at least four to five days, and left to suffer for at least two weeks before that.

As well as the disqualification Farrell was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, 150 hours unpaid work, £300 costs and £80 victim surcharge.

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