Dog owner avoids jail despite cruelty

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A man from Grays has been given a suspended prison sentence for leaving his dog in a lock-up garage for days without food and water.

The dog, a brindle Staffordshire crossbreed female, called Scarlet was found in an emaciated state with bare patches on her coat and abrasive marks in several places on her body.

The RSPCA was called by someone saying a dog they had seen walking about ‘like a living skeleton’ had been left unattended in a lock-up garage on Park Lane.

Police attended and opened the unit up, which was full of car parts and other scrap metal, and found Scarlet with no food or water in filthy conditions in a small space at the back.

Her owner, Simon Liggins , 46, of Newnham Place was then contacted.
RSPCA inspector Lewis Taylor said: “Mr Liggins showed that he was aware of the plight of Scarlet in relation to her weight and condition and general lack of welfare in being left isolated in that garage, but he did nothing to alleviate any of these problems.”

On Friday, 20 September, at Basildon Magistrates Court, Liggins pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to meet the needs of an animal for which he was responsible and three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to that animal by failing to provide her with a ready supply of fresh drinking water, by failing to investigate and address the cause of her underweight condition and by failing to provide her with the proper and necessary veterinary care she needed.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment for each of these charges suspended for a period of 12 months, ordered to pay £1200 towards prosecution costs and to pay an £80 victim surcharge and sign Scarlet over to the RSPCA. He was also banned from keeping animals for five years and not allowed to appeal that disqualification for five years.

Scarlet is now looking for a new loving home.

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