Animal had to be put down after Leeds man neglected three dogs on building site prison

A judge spared a Leeds man found guilty of neglecting three dogs on a building site prison - but banned him from keeping animals.

District Judge Paul Healey told Adrian Appleyard, 41, that he had failed to ensure the basic needs of an Anatloian shepherd called Athena and two Caucasian shepherds called Koda and Sasha.

-> 13-year-old girl sexually assaulted in ginnel by man who followed her home from schoolPhilip Brown, prosecuting, told Sheffield Magistrates’ Court that Appleyard and Karl Harwood were found guilty in their absence of mistreating and failing to ensure the welfare of the dogs at an earlier hearing.

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Mr Brown said the dogs were kept as guard dogs on a building site on Hollin Busk Lane, Deepcar, and were left unattended between January 20 and January 23, prompting RSCPA inspectors to visit the site.

The compound where the dogs were being kept.

The dogs had been left in three shelters but the rood of one covering two of the dogs – Koda ans Sasha – has blown off, leaving them exposed to ‘bitterly’ cold weather and snow, he added.

He added Dr Jenny Turner, a veterinary surgeon at Springfield Vets, also attended the site and said that the housing and nutritional supplies for the dogs were unsuitable.

Mr Brown said: “She believed that the period of suffering would been for at least four to six weeks but probably longer. They had suffered either a variable shortage of food over several weeks or starved entirely for a period of days."

-> Leeds man found dead during missing person search had bank and payday loan problemsThe prosecutor also told the court that Koda had developed ‘behavioural difficulties’ and that a vet had decided it was in the dog’s best interests to carry out euthanasia.

Appleyard, of Springhead Road, Rothwell, Leeds, representing himself, told the court he was going through a ‘difficult time’ and was caring for his mother and daughter at the time.

He said: “I am not in any way, shape or form a bad person and I have not set out in any way, shape or form to harm those dogs.

“The dogs have suffered and I have to live with that for the rest of my life. My mum needs the help and there is no-one else for her. I have to do everything.

“All I was trying to do was look after my daughter and my mum and it's affected other things and I am sorry for that.”

Handing Appleyard a community order and ordering him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, Judge Healey said he had the ‘ultimate responsibility’ for ensuring the welfare of the dogs.

He added: “It is a serious case of failing to ensure that the animals needs were met buty ou have caring responsibilities for your mother and also for your daughter.

“The starting point for offences of this type is custody but I feel that given you have no previous convictions and caring responsibilities I can step down from that.”

Judge Healey also deprived Appleyard from looking after Athena and Sasha, who remain in the care of the RSPCA, and banned him from keeping any animal for five years.

Harwood, of Ivy Gardens, Bramley, Leeds, was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work at an earlier hearing.