April 2022

Dog died after being shut in a cage while owner went on holiday

An 18-month old dog died after being shut in a cage while a Northampton woman went on holiday for 2 weeks.

Jade Roberts, 26, of Ash Street, but previously Liverpool admitted one charge of animal cruelty at Northampton Magistrates Court

On July 31 last year, she left her property – and the 18-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Daisy – to stay at a caravan park in Prestatyn, North Wales.

An RSPCA inspector went to the defendant’s address on August 10 after they received information a dog had been abandoned at her home.

Peter Mitchell, prosecuting, said: “They looked through the letterbox and were hit with the smell of decomposing flesh. She could see the property was filthy with clothes and rubbish strewn on the floor.

“She could see a dog cage and did try to gain entry through the yard but that was flooded with rubbish bags. The following day, a housing officer contacted Miss Roberts as she was away at the time.

“Her sister let an RSPCA inspector in the property and found a dead and decomposing white Staffordshire Bull Terrier.”

The court heard the pooch was locked in a cage that was “filthy and littered with faeces” and there were three bowls in the crate – one of which was upside down while the second was empty and the third contained dog food.

On August 19, the inspector arranged to interview Roberts alongside her sister and accepted she was responsible for the dog.

Roberts went away on holiday with her children and was away for some 14 days, claiming she had arranged for a friend to look after the dog and provided for money and food.

Mr Mitchell added: “She refused to disclose the details that person. A veterinary surgeon couldn’t be sure how the dog had died.

“Clearly, it was locked in a cage and there had been insufficient water. It’s difficult to say when the dog died as it depends on conditions on the property, the heat and things of that nature.”

Magistrates sentenced Roberts to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year. Within the 12 month order, she will take part in 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days