Pair from North Yorkshire banned from keeping pets after terrier starves to death and Staffies left emaciated

A couple from North Yorkshire have been banned from keeping animals for seven years after their terrier starved to death and two other dogs were left emaciated after being deprived of food and water.

Jake Craven, 28, of Linnaeus Street, Hull, and Megan Findlay, 25, of Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences, following an RSPCA prosecution.

The couple, who had been keeping a terrier Rex and two Staffies, mother and daughter Coco and Tinker, at their flat in breach of their tenancy agreement, were offered help with rehoming in a visit by the RSPCA and a housing association officer last March.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But when the housing association officer returned a fortnight later, she couldn’t get in.

One of the emaciated Staffies after rescue by the RSPCAOne of the emaciated Staffies after rescue by the RSPCA
One of the emaciated Staffies after rescue by the RSPCA

On June 10 RSPCA Inspector Tom Hutton found the couple living in a tent on waste ground near the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. Findlay said they were homeless and Rex had died, and she had kept him, wrapped in a blanket, in the tent.

Scarborough Magistrates heard that the Staffies were emaciated, with their spines, hips and ribs showing. The pair were anaemic and needed treatment. In a vet’s opinion, both were suffering due to lack of nutrition and water and “would have been suffering for around a month at least to have lost that much weight”.

A post-mortem report for Rex showed he was suffering from muscle wastage. The vet added: “He would have suffered unnecessarily as a result of inadequate nutrition and the level of muscle atrophy would have taken at least two months - the hunger alone would have been incredibly uncomfortable for him.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In mitigation, the court was told Findlay suffered from psychological problems, including ADHD and anxiety and depression. It was said her ownership of the dogs had been “inadequate rather than wicked”. Craven was now in a new relationship and had “secondary responsibility” for the care of the dogs.

Craven was sentenced to an 18-month community order. He has to complete 25 rehabilitation activity (RAR) days and will be curfewed on an electronic tag for three months. Findlay, who was sentenced at an earlier hearing, was placed under an 18-month community order and must complete 35 RAR days. Findlay was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £114.