10:27am Tuesday 4th March 2014
A DOG was left dangerously underweight after it was fed pizza and curry, a court heard.
Christine Hooper, aged 64, of Lawnside, Nailsworth, pleaded guilty to failing to provide her dog with a suitable diet.
She was given a two-week curfew between the hours of 8pm to 7am and was ordered to pay £400 costs and a £60 victim surcharge at Stroud Magistrates’ Court on Monday, March 3.
Animal welfare officers visited Hooper’s home after a tip-off about the welfare of her four dogs in April 2013.
They found three whippet crosses and a husky, each in varying levels of nutrition.
The husky and one whippet were slightly underweight, another in a satisfactory condition but Sam, the final whippet, was ‘very underweight’, the court heard.
James Rachael prosecuting said: “When asked what she was feeding them, she said she had run out of food but a grand daughter would pick more up.
“They were fed scraps of pizza and curry thrown over the fence by concerned neighbours. She said Sam ate but did not put on weight.”
The court heard how an animal welfare officer told Hooper to take Sam to a vet, but when they returned a week later, she had not done so.
She agreed to sign Sam over to Stroud District Council, weighing just 13.3kg.
Sam was taken to Clockhouse Vets for blood tests which detected no illness which could have caused the dramatic weight loss. A week later he weighed 14.5kg.
“That weight gain is the same as an eleven-and-a-half stone man putting on a stone in week,” said Mr Rachael.
Sam has since been rehomed.
Mr Rachael added: “We are not seeking at this point to have her disqualified from keeping dogs but animal welfare officers will be keeping an eye on the dogs.”
Hooper said: “I have learnt from this and I have always got food in for the dogs.
“I know dogs aren’t cheap to keep but I manage now.”
When sentencing, magistrate Philip Judge said he could not award SDC the full costs which had been applied for because he had to take Hooper’s financial means into account.
He said: “It may not seem like a lot of money, but it will be to her and the curfew is a punishment.
Speaking to Hooper, he added:“These breeds need a lot of walks and food so think carefully about what you do with your dogs.”
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