Chesterfield couple left pets to die of starvation while staying just half a mile away

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A Chesterfield couple who left their three reptiles, dog and cat alone to starve in filthy conditions in their empty house while they stayed just half a mile away have been banned from keeping dogs and reptiles for five years.

Estelle Lodde, 37, and Mark Lodde, 33, of Midland Terrace, Barrow Hill, pleaded guilty to seven animal welfare offences involving their pets.

In February RSPCA inspectors visited the couple’s home and found one bearded dragon was severely emaciated and another had already died from starvation. Sadly, the leopard gecko also died from starvation on the way to the vets for treatment.

They also found a Jack Russell Terrier, named Loki, was also dehydrated and underweight but had scavenged some food from a bag of cat biscuits he had ripped open. He was also suffering from a skin condition brought on by flea infestation. Their cat, Blaze, was also underweight and living in squalor.

The couple were also ordered to pay costs of £200 plus an £80 surcharge.

After the sentencing yesterday (Wednesday) RSPCA inspector Mick Darling said: “It was terrible that these poor animals had been left to fend for themselves for days while their owners were just down the road with friends.

“The cat and dog had been affected by being left for that amount of time but the poor bearded dragons and the gecko had been suffering from a poor diet and bad husbandry for a lot longer than that.”

He added: “Especially in the case of the bearded dragons and the gecko it is sadly an all too common occurrence. Members of the public have these exotic pets which spend their lives in unsuitable or basic environments with inadequate or poorly managed diets. As this case shows, the results can be devastating and leave these animals suffering terribly.”