**Contains images some may find distressing
A Weoley Castle woman has been banned from keeping animals for life after her pet chihuahua was found starved to death on Christmas Eve.
After concerns were raised by a member of the public, RSPCA Inspector Herchy Boal went to the home of Diane Johnson (39), where she found a carrier bag containing the body of ‘Princess’ dumped in a rabbit hutch in her garden. It is believed the underweight dog had been dead for around two weeks.
Insp. Boal also found two other severely underweight chihuahua-type dogs inside the home – ‘Belle’, a tan dog, and ‘Minnie’, a white dog.
The surviving dogs were signed over to the RSPCA, along with Minnie’s ten-week-old puppy. They were nursed back to health and have since been rehomed.
At Birmingham Magistrates Court on Thursday (16th May), Johnson pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Princess and one offence of failing to meet the needs of Minnie and Belle.
In mitigation, the court heard Johnson had family difficulties at the time of the offences.
The magistrate handed Johnson a lifetime ban from keeping any animals, as well as an 18-month community order – including a 40 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. She was also required to pay costs of £200 and an £85 victim surcharge.
Inspector Boal said: “Poor Princess died of starvation and must have suffered terribly over a long period. It is awful to think of the suffering she must have gone through.
“There is never an excuse to leave any animal starving in this day and age, then after Princess died she was dumped like rubbish in a carrier bag and left in a rabbit hutch outside.”
She added: “The other two dogs could have suffered a similar fate had it not been reported to us.
“This enabled us to take the other dogs away from this situation and in RSPCA care, where they were able to get back to a healthy weight and I am delighted that they have now been re-homed.”
If you suspect animal neglect or cruelty, please the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit the RSPCA website. If you are struggling to meet the need of animals in your care, please contact the RSPCA or a local animal rescue charity for help.