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Mother and Daughters Starved Staffordshire Bull Terrier Until It Was So Hungry It Ate Its Own Bed

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A mother and her two daughters starved a Staffordshire bull terrier until it was so hungry it was forced to eat its own bed.

Diane Martin, 55, Amy Martin, 21, and Chloe Martin, 22, kept the dog, Akita, caged in a room surrounded by its own faeces.

The dog was discovered emaciated and with overgrown claws in September last year by the RSPCA.

It had been digesting its own bed - which was made of plastic - and plastic was found to be in its faeces.

Inspector Virgina Ross visited the family home in Tottenham, north London, to check on the pet's condition.

She found a baby gate had been placed across the door of the room to prevent the dog from escaping from the foul-smelling room.

Ms Ross could see the animal's hips, ribs and spine protruding from underneath its fur, Highbury Corner Magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Mark Jones said: 'It was frantic to get out of the room. There was child gate across the door which the dog was trying to climb over.'

He added that there was a soiled bed for the dog in the middle of the room which was covered in faeces, and that there was no clean space for the animal to get some respite.

Chloe told the inspector that Akita had belonged to her sister's ex-boyfriend and that he had left it with them.

She admitted that she had been concerned about the conditions it was being kept in, saying: 'I wouldn't like to live like that.'

Mr Jones said the intention had been to sell the animal which had been looked after before Amy and her boyfriend split up.

The defendants then 'turned a blind eye' to Akita's care and neglected her for a month until she was taken away by Ms Ross on September 18.

A forensic veterinary surgeon examined the dog and found that she weighed just 5.7kg - almost half her normal body weight.

He added that the dog was so desperate to find food that it had started trying to digest her bed.

Mr Jones said: 'Whilst at the surgery the animal was passing plastic in its faeces.

'What the vet is saying is that this dog was eating abnormal matter. It is a common finding in dogs that have been deprived an adequate diet and were so hungry they would eat anything.

'It doesn't get any worse than that.'

He added: 'Quite frankly, if left any longer the dog might have died.'

By November last year, Akita's body weight had increased to 10.65 kilos and she has a new owner.

Addressing Amy Martin, chair of the bench Anita Morgan said: 'We find in this that you were the most culpable.

'This was a dog that was left in your care, but you were already a dog owner, so you understand about dogs.

'You purposefully treated this dog in an appalling way while looking after another dog.'

Ms Morgan told Chloe and Diane Martin that although they also had a duty to care for Aikita, the bench did not feel they had been primarily responsible.

Amy was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

She was also banned from owning or keeping a dog for five years.

Chloe, who is four months pregnant, was given a 12 month community order and made subject to an 8pm to 6am electronically monitored curfew for eight weeks.

Their mother was given a 12 month community order and ordered carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

The mother and daughters,from Tottenham, each admitted one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and two of failing to fulfil the duties of a person responsible for an animal's welfare.

They were each also ordered to pay £100 each towards court costs.

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