A heartless dog owner who allowed his Staffordshire Bull Terrier to become starved and emaciated has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.
Shaun Musson, 25, of Chaucer Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, was visited by the RSPCA after they had received reports that there was an ill dog at the defendant’s property.
Solicitor Andy Cash, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing today, July 6: “There was a report in January of an ill dog and the RSPCA visited a couple of times and saw a very thin dog through the letter box.”
The defendant met with the RSPCA in April and handed over the seriously underweight dog called Maxie and Musson officially signed the dog over to the RSPCA.
Maxie was taken to a vet, according to Mr Cash, and the dog was described as weighing 11.8kg with a body score of one-out-of-nine when nine is considered obese and one is considered to be emaciated.
Mr Cash added: “The dog was weak and barely able to walk or stand and had a nail overgrown on the right paw and it was curled right round and it was about to grow into the pad.
“The vet said it must have been clear the dog was underweight and suffering and it had been suffering for at least seven weeks.”
Musson told the RSPCA during an interview that he had been suffering with depression and his working hours had created problems for him.
He added that he recognised the dog was thin and with hindsight he should have taken it to the vet’s.
The probation service stated that Musson said issues began when he became employed by KFC and was working 40 to 50 hours a week.
Musson explained he could not put in place how to care for the dog, according to the probation service, and he was struggling with his finances and working long hours and he gave this as the reason for not caring for the dog properly or taking it to the vet’s.
The court also heard how Musson has accumulated £4,000 of debts and has suffered with depression since he was 17 years-old after being in the care system.
Musson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an unprotected animal between February 13 and April 4 by failing to act and address the causes of the dog’s poor bodily condition and weight loss.
Magistrates described the state of the dog as “horrendous” and they stated there had a been a prolonged, high level of suffering caused to the animal through neglect.
They sentenced Musson to 12 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a six-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
Musson was also disqualified from keeping animals for ten years and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.