Couple banned from owning dogs after concerns they were being fed “scraps from the local takeaway”

A couple in Derby have been banned from owning dogs for three years, after they left their pets “thin and underweight” and did not take them to the vets when advised.

Laura Butt, 33, and Timothy Wood, 53, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

When RSPCA inspectors visited their property in Derby Road, Draycott, they found that two dogs were “thin and underweight” and another had “deep scratches”.

The court heard on that Helen Mead, of the RSPCA, had visited the property numerous times between December 2018 and May 2019 and had not always been able to gain access.

The four dogs were known as HM1, HM2, HM3 and HM4 during the case.

The charges only related to HM1, Bear, an Akita type dog, and HM2, Molly, a black German Shepherd. Timothy Wood owned three of the dogs while Laura Butt owned Bear.

The prosecution said on December 3, 2018, Helen Mead had attended the home of the defendants. “HM2 Molly, 14, was thin and Roxy, seven, was underweight. Advice was given that the dogs needed cooked pasta into their dog food.” “It was advised that the dogs should be taken to the vets.”

The court heard that by March 2019, the dogs had not been taken to the vets because Mr Wood said they were “very busy”.

Then, on May 24 2019, a police officer attended the property with Helen Mead who had “concerns regarding the state of two dogs”.

“The scratches were deep and the dog had not had any treatment.

“Mr Wood said the dogs were fed a lot of food. Ms Mead asked there was any dog food but Mr Wood said no.

“The concern was that the dogs were not being fed on dog food but scrap food from the local takeaway.

“It would appear the dogs were so thin because of their diet. All four dogs were seized.

“Advice was ignored between December and May. Ms Mead tried to work with the defendants without the need for legal action.”

– Richard Purchase

Defence solicitor Simon Stevens, representing Laura Butt, said she had “always been an animal lover”.

 

He said the couple also have a cat, Socks, who is “overweight and well-cared for”.

He said Timothy Wood understood the “obligation” to look after dogs.

He added: “He accepts he had not noticed what had happened to them.”

Both defendants were handed fines and both were disqualified from keeping any dogs for the next three years.

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