A MOTHER-OF-THREE has been banned from owning animals after she let her dog starve to half its body weight.
Zoe Maxwell, aged 40, of Bath Road, in Nailsworth, and Michael Mayo, aged 24, of Stroud Road, in Gloucester, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire bull terrier.
They were both sentenced to 18 weeks custody suspended for 12 months and disqualified indefinitely from owning animals at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, January 29.
District Judge Lynne Matthews said: "Here we have a dog starved for four weeks.
"This was frankly appauling.
"If you are under any misapprehension as to why you are here it is because society will not put up with people inflicting cruelty on animals."
The Staffie, called Kai was rescued after it escaped from the defendant's previous home in Lawnside, Nailsworth, in December 2012, the court heard.
Nick Sutton, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: "Police visited the property on December 12 and saw two cages in the living room with a dog in each.
"The next day animal welfare officers at Stroud District Council were called after a man found a dog.
"She went to his address and saw an emaciated animal."
Kai was taken to Clockhouse Vets and seized by the RSPCA.
The court heard that Kai was 11kg underweight, weighing just 13.9kg.
Vet Paul Mitchell said: "In my opinion this dog had been malnourished for considerable time.
"His nutritional needs had not been met for at least four weeks, he was not given sufficient food."
The court heard that Maxwell could not cope with the dog and gave him to her daughter's partner Mayo.
Mr Sutton said: "They must have seen this animal slowly starving when in their possession.
"Between themselves what ever the situation was it was their duty to do something.
"Luckily the dog escaped and was picked up by a caring person. If that had not happened this dog would not be alive now, without a shadow of a doubt."
Kai has since been re-homed and is living in Italy.
Judge Matthews said: "This dog was starved and would have starved to death had it not escaped.
"I am told by a vet that the poor dog would have suffered the sensation of sever hunger.
"The story has a happy ending for the dog though and I have seen what he looks like now with owners taking care of him."
The pair are also required to undertake 140 hours of unpaid work and Mayo must pay £1,000 costs and a £80 victim surcharge while Maxwell was ordered to pay £400 costs.