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Sunday, Nov 14, 2010
Case Images: 2 files available
» Marie Howells
» Darrell Richards
A COUPLE have been locked up for four and a half months and banned for life from keeping or owning pets after they were found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty.
Marie Howells, 37, and Darrell Richards, 42, admitted charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two bull mastiff type dogs and failing to meet their welfare needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 when they appeared in Caerphilly Magistrates' Court.
RSPCA inspectors visited Howells and Richards at an address in Penyrheol, Caerphilly, in November last year where they became aware of two "severely underweight" dogs, named Sally and Sox.
Such was the emaciated state of Sally, who was kept in a garden shed, that Inspector Christine McNeil described her as the thinnest dog she had ever seen.
She was so malnourished her rib cage could visibly be seen through her hair.
A vet examined Sally and Sox after they were removed from the care of Howells and Richards and confirmed both were very underweight.
A dog of Sally's age and height would normally weigh between 30 and 50kg, yet she weighed just 17.8kg.
Sally's condition was in fact so poor she could not support herself and had to be carried. She had early kidney failure and her liver was also infected.
Luckily both dogs were rescued in time for them to make a full recovery. Sally was signed over to the RSPCA, while Sox was re-homed by a neighbor.
Both then improved significantly within a matter of weeks.
Sentencing the defendants, magistrates said they had never seen such images of animal suffering.
Howells and Richards, who has since left the address in Penyrheol, and is now of no fixed abode, were sent to prison for 18 weeks and have been given life bans from keeping or owning animals.
Insp McNeil said: "This is a fair result, reflecting the appalling cruelty and neglect displayed by the defendants."