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Dog owner banned after emaciated animals found in kitchen

by Danny Boyle

Mark Willson, banned from owning animals
Mark Willson, banned from owning animals


A man who kept 18 severely malnourished dogs locked up in his kitchen has been banned from owning any animal for a decade.

, 46, left the emaciated Jack Russells to fight for food and water in his Gravesend home for more than a month.Mark Willson

The jobless dad-of-two, of York Road, claims he did all he could for the dogs when his wife left him last September.

But the RSPCA says the animals were "horrendously" emaciated, with severe flea infections when it rescued them.

Softly-spoken Willson has now been tagged and slapped with the ban after admitting neglecting the dogs.

Magistrates winced as they pored over dozens of disturbing pictures of the animals.

Andrew Wiles, prosecuting, spent 15 minutes reeling off a list of their injuries, saying all had symptoms of "chronic malnutrition".

Jack Russell left malnourished in Mark Willson's kitchen
Jack Russell left malnourished in Mark Willson's kitchen

RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe found the dogs confined to Willson's kitchen when she visited his house after a call from a concerned member of the public on October 24 last year.

They were signed over to the care of the RSPCA and examined by a vet.

Mr Wiles said: "The vet said none of them was having their needs met and were likely to have been competing for food and water. They were not able to exercise and suffered as a result."

Willson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate nutrition for 16 dogs and parasitic control for another two at Dartford magistrates' court.

He was disqualified from owning any animal for 10 years and tagged under a six-month curfew that requires him to be at home between 8pm and 8am daily.

Willson was also ordered to pay £500 prosecution costs, but will not pay any of the vet or boarding fees of more than £8,000.

Magistrate Rodney Chambers said: "We can't allow defenceless animals to be neglected in this way without taking appropriate action."

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