Underweight pets taken in by RSPCA

Snoops, the family dog

Barbie, the rabbit

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

A COUPLE have been banned from keeping animals after their dog and their daughter's rabbits were found to be underweight.

Border Collie Snoops was only 11.2 kilos when he was taken in by the RSPCA. Magistrates heard a dog of a similar breed and size should have weighed around 20 kilos.

Shane Hall, 50, and Amanda Neale, 47, of Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering of a protected animal.

They also admitted failing to properly look after their five-year-old daughter's two rabbits, Cinderella and Barbie.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Barry Culshaw said: “This is not a case of cruelty - this is a case of neglect.

“When Snoops was examined by a vet, they found his vision was good and his teeth were good, but when he was offered food, he was found to be very hungry.”

He said that after spending many months with the RSPCA, 14-year-old Snoops now weighs 21 kilos and is in good health.

The RSPCA were first made aware of the animal's plight after getting a call from a concerned police community support officer on March 9 last year.

Hall and Neale twice failed to take Snoops to a vet and the dog was therefore taken into RSPCA protection on April 26.

The following month, the RSPCA found the couple's two rabbits were without food or water and weighed only 1.5 kilos and 1.87 kilos - less than would be expected.

The court heard that Hall and Neale subsequently signed over ownership of all three animals to the RSPCA.

Hall, defending himself and Neale, told the magistrates that they were “deeply sorry” for failing to properly care for the animals.

He said: “We are deeply sorry about all of this. We wouldn't harm an animal. We would never harm anything.”

The couple were both handed a 12-month community order with a requirement of 100 hours of unpaid work.

Magistrates also made a disqualification order, banning the couple from keeping any animal until further notice, and they were each told to pay £350 in costs to the RSPCA. They were also told they would have to give up their cat and goldfish.

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