Life ban for woman who starved dogs

Rosie, Staffordshire bull terrier, neglected in an Ilkeston home.
Rosie, Staffordshire bull terrier, neglected in an Ilkeston home.

An Ilkeston woman has been banned for life from keeping pets after two dogs had to be rescued when left in her care to fulfil a ‘dying wish’.

Staffordshire bull terriers Rosie and Tyson were abandoned in an Ilkeston house, leaving RSPCA officers having to feed them through the letterbox, a court heard.

Staffordshire bull terrier Tyson, neglected in Ilkeston home.

Staffordshire bull terrier Tyson, neglected in Ilkeston home.

They were underweight, dehydrated and one suffered from a flea allergy. But within weeks of being taken away, they had returned to near their correct weight.

Owner Julia Feakes, 50, of Kingsway, Ilkeston, was put on probation for a year and must spend half that time on a course to tackle drink problems.

She must pay £300 costs and a £60 government surcharge after being convicted at an earlier hearing of causing unnecessary suffering.

District Judge Caroline Goulborn told her: “I don’t believe you can care for any animals properly at the moment.

“This was not a deliberate act of cruelty but this neglect did cause a lot of suffering to them.

“If they had been looked after properly, they would not have got into this terrible state,” she added at the magistrates’ court in Derby on Thursday (June 13).

John Hay, for Feakes, told the judge: “She does feel deeply ashamed of what happened to the animals. Both were inherited from her mother who died in July 2011.

“Effectively it was her mother’s dying wish for her to look after them. She probably hung on to them in circumstances where she really would have been better advised to give them up straight away.

“She could not very well look after herself,” added Mr Hay.

Jobless Feakes had been in hospital last July and the electricity was later cut off.

John Sutcliffe, prosecuting, said the dogs were removed when she returned to her home on October 15.

After being alerted nine days earlier, RSPCA inspectors had been visiting regularly and dropping food through the front door.

A vet examined the pair and felt ‘their period of suffering had been at least a month’.

Rosie weighed 8.5 kilos but should have been at least 14kg. The male dog was 12.3kg, compared to an expected weight of over 18kg.