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    Couple spared jail after causing horrific suffering to their dog

    NewsDog Health and WellbeingThursday 24 October 2013
    A couple from Essex have been spared jail after being sentenced for causing horrific levels of suffering to their dog, who was found riddled with disease and injuries. 
    Stewart and Sarah Millar, from Basildon, have both now been banned from keeping any animal for three years, after they appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court on Friday for the way they treated their dog Teddy.
    The couple were handed Community Orders after they’d pleaded guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering to Teddy, as well as failing to make sure his needs were met. 
    All of the charges that were handed to the couple, were done so under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 
    Mr Millar, 47, was told that he must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12 month Community Order. And, his wife, 43, was sentenced to a six month Community Order with supervision during this period. 
    The pair have also been forced to pay £375 each in costs and also had a victim surcharge of £60 each. 
    RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough is the Inspector who attended the couple’s home on 20 May this year, after receiving a report of a dog with fur loss that was living in poor conditions. 
    When he arrived at the home he discovered Teddy in an emaciated state. He also had a severe abscess on the right hand side of his head and an infection in his right eye. 
    As well as these conditions, the 12-year-old male bichon frise was also suffering from a matted coat, long nails, a broken jaw, gingivitis, dental disease and fleas.
    He was in such a poor condition when he was found by RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough that sadly he had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.
    Inspector Gough said: “I was shocked by the state I found Teddy in. The poor dog was in such an awful state, yet his owners just turned a blind eye to the fact he was clearly in desperate need of veterinary attention and had been for a long time.
    “I can’t imagine the misery that dog must have gone through after being left in that state.”
    Teddy was seen by viewers who tuned into The Dog Rescuers on Channel 5 last Tuesday (15 Oct) and many contacted the RSPCA to see what had happened to his owners.
    Inspector Gough added: “Many viewers were understandably upset by what they saw on The Dog Rescuers and contacted us to find out what had happened subsequently after my investigation.
    “Sadly though, the RSPCA sees cases like this all the time and it won’t be long before we have to take action against more people who have neglected their animals to such a horrific level.”
    The couple were told by the magistrates that they would have received a custodial sentence had it been not for the fact they expressed genuine remorse.
    Find out more about our prosecution work and read some more examples of cruelty stories.
    Don’t forget to tune into the new series The Dog Rescuers every Tuesday on Channel 5 to follow our inspectors as they help those who can’t help themselves. If you miss any of the episodes you can catch up on Channel 5 demand.
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