Published: 10:00, 27 March 2014
This is the face of a man who left his dog in such a terrible state it chewed off its own tail and had to be put to sleep.
Jerome Starkey, 21, of Austin Road, Ashford, was banned from keeping animals for 10 years after his four-year-old brindle Staffordshire bull terrier Gunner was discovered weak from hunger, flea-ridden, lame, covered in blood and with his tail half missing.
RSPCA officers who entered the house in January last year rushed Gunner straight to a vet but were advised the kindest option would be to put him down and end his suffering.
Inspector Caroline Doe of the animal charity said: “We walked in to find blood all over the floor and the poor dog standing there on three legs as he was completely lame on his rear right leg.
“Gunner was emaciated, covered with fleas and had chewed off most of his tail. It was outright awful – chewed right down to the bone and he must have been in so much pain.
“There were behavioural issues, which may have caused him to do this, but mainly I think he was driven to distraction by the fleas and had just nibbled and nibbled away until half the tail was missing.
“So much suffering had been caused, and the owner admitted it had been going on for quite some time with no veterinary treatment being sought.”
Starkey was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and in addition to the ban, handed out at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court, he was made to pay £2,000 costs and do 280 hours of unpaid work.
On May 25 last year Starkey posted a picture on his Facebook page that appeared to show Gunner in a healthy state.
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More by this authorSuz Elvey
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