Dog owner avoids jail after leaving boxers to starve near their food

Dog owner avoids jail after leaving two boxers to starve to death just yards away from open bags of food as he mourned his dead girlfriend

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Stephen New, 34, was mourning girlfriend’s death and neglected his boxer dogs
  • RSPCA were called to Maltby, South Yorkshire, after police saw flies in windows
  • But when they entered the property on July 14 they found Bruno and Ruby dead
  • Vets say dogs had been left for up to five days with only a bowl of water and food
  • New sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and to pay £400

A man who left his two dogs to starve to death over five days when they were just metres away from open bags of food has avoided jail.

Stephen New, 34, had been mourning his girlfriend’s death and neglected his boxer dogs for nearly a week – leaving a stench of ‘rotting dead bodies’ in his home.

The RSPCA were called to the house in Maltby, South Yorkshire, after police became concerned about the welfare of animals when they spotted flies in the windows.

But when they entered the property on July 14 they found the lifeless bodies of Bruno, two, and 18-month-old Ruby curled up together in the crate.

Vets believed the dogs had been left for up to five days with only a bowl of water and food, and felt New saw them getting weaker and thinner but still did not take action.

Stephen New, 34, had been mourning his girlfriend’s death and neglected his boxer dogs for nearly a week – leaving a stench of ‘rotting dead bodies’ in his home

The RSPCA were called to the house in Maltby, South Yorkshire, after police became concerned about the welfare of animals when they spotted flies in the windows

The dogs were so decomposed by the time officers got to the house they were unable to conduct a post mortem.

But they concluded the dogs had tragically died due to a lack of food and water and would have suffered greatly.

New pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to two boxer dogs at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

He was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £400 in costs. He was also banned from keeping all animals for life.

RSPCA inspector Vanessa Reid, who was at the horrific scene, said: ‘I arrived to find police officers had already been granted access by the owner to find the dead bodies of two boxers in a crate in the kitchen.

‘When I entered the house I could immediately smell a strong aroma that I know to be the smell of rotting dead bodies.

‘The house was quite dark with all blinds closed and had very little furniture inside. I had walked past several bags of dog food, some opened, some full and sealed, along with other dog items such as toys and leads.

‘The kitchen was cluttered and grimey. On the side, there was a jar full of dog chews, a large bowl full of dog food, and a smaller bowl containing a small amount of food and some faeces.

When the RSPCA entered the property on July 14 they found the lifeless bodies of Bruno, two, and 18-month-old Ruby curled up together in the crate

‘In the centre of the kitchen was a large training crate containing the remains of two dogs.

‘They were laid together, tucked up beside a bowl which was on its side. I’m not sure whether it was a food or water bowl but it had been licked clean.

‘There was a layer of thick faeces in and surrounding the cage. I tried to move the bodies, which had begun to decompose, and saw there were maggots present.’

The court heard New struggled to cope after the death of his girlfriend and shut everything out including the dogs.

He fully accepted his responsibility for the dogs’ deaths.

Inspector Reid added: ‘These poor dogs were left to starve to death inside a cage – with jars full of dog treats and open bags of food just metres away.

‘New was solely responsible for those dogs and allowed them to die slowly in front of him.

‘But it was clear to me that he was also suffering himself. When I spoke to him, he was visibly emotional and said he was sorry.’

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