WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT BELOWA couple have been jailed for almost starving their puppy to death in one of Britain’s ‘most shocking’ cases of animal cruelty. Kerry Patterson, 35, and Reece Milburn, 30, pretended they found three-year-old lurcher, Tiggy, dumped by the side of the road and reported it to their local council. But their deceit was laid bare after an appeal launched to find Tiggy’s owners went viral – and revealed the dog actually belonged to Patterson and Milburn.
Harrowing pictures show Tiggy in an emaciated state with protruding ribs after an animal welfare officer from Northumberland County Council visited the couple’s home in Blyth in December 2019.
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The poor pet was severely dehydrated and had become so weak she couldn’t stand.
She also had dermatitis and a mite infestation.The officer was left disgusted by Tiggy’s condition – and said it was the ‘worst case he’d seen during 15 years in the job’.Patterson and Milburn both admitted unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
They also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of their Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Enzo, who also had a skin condition and mite infestation.
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They were each sentenced to 12 weeks behind bars and banned from keeping animals for life.
The court also ordered them to pay a £120 victim surcharge during the hearing last Thursday.Council spokesman, Philip Soderquest, said it was ‘one of the most shocking and high-profile cases of animal cruelty the county has ever seen.’
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‘Our animal welfare team work tirelessly to investigate cases of animal neglect and cruelty and bring the perpetrators to justice.‘We were absolutely determined that Tiggy’s former owners would have had their day in court and although it has taken two years, today we got the result we were after.’ Now thanks to the hard work of Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels, Tiggy has had a happy ending, Mr Soderquest added.
‘She is a picture of health and happiness with a new home, a new life with dog companions, and even a new name.’
Enzo is still looking for his forever home and is currently being cared for in kennels.
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For more information about Enzo click here.
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