A couple from Cambridgeshire have been found guilty of starving their four pet dogs, claiming they couldn’t afford them due to their huge debts. The couple’s financial problems were so great that they are facing have their home repossessed. The dogs were left in the garden, starving and surrounded by dog waste.
As a result of the credit crunch, the RSPCA has warned that anyone who faces financial difficulties such as this should seek help before they let their dogs starve.
The owners of the dogs, Dea Pinto and her Christopher Atkin, admitted in court that they had neglected the pet dogs. The RSPCA received a tip off about the pets, prompting them to visit the home in December, where they found the four dogs in a terrible state in the garden.
Two of the dogs were taken by the RSPCA and a court order allowed them to take a third dog. All of the dogs were drastically underweight, with a puppy half of the weight it should be.
Monica Lentin, the defending solicitor, stated that Ms Pinto tried to rehome the dogs.
They were Ms Pinto’s dogs and until things became too much at home, they were well looked after.
She had a great deal of affection for them and feels guilty that her partner has had to be involved in this case. They are both deeply ashamed and both accept responsibility.
Both Dea Pinto and her Christopher Atkin received four month suspended sentences and have been banned from keeping animals for ten years.
The RSPCA are happy with the verdict and have advised that anyone in the same situation should seek help before allowing any animal to suffer. A spokesman for the RSPCA stated:
It is not good enough to blame financial problems later on when there is help available. Animals should not be abandoned or left to suffer.
We are pleased with the sentence and this reflects the condition the dogs were in.
Those who do get into difficulties and feel they can no longer care for their pets should contact the RSPCA or another animal welfare organisation for help before the situation escalates and animals are made to suffer.