Pair left pet dog when they moved house; daisy left in filthy conditions with no food or water.
Byline: ALAN WESTON ECHO Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org @alanweston
A COUPLE were banned from keeping animals for five years after leaving a dog to fend for itself when they moved out.
Sophie Fenna and Robert Hopkinson appeared before Wirral magistrates after being prosecuted by the RSPCA for failing to look after the basic needs of the one-year-old dog, a female spaniel cross-breed. Both pleaded guilty. The court heard that Fenna and Hopkinson, who have a young son, were in the process of moving out of the property in Fairfield Road, Tranmere, to set up business running a takeaway.
When first alerted, RSPCA officers placed seals in the door frames to ascertain whether anybody had been attending. Four days later, the seals were still intact.
Police forced entry, and RSPCA officers found the property in a filthy condition, with the floor covered in dog faeces and urine.
The dog, called Daisy, had also been left with no food or water and was confined inside the empty house without any company. A bag of empty food had been chewed by the dog.
She was described as being in a distressed state and in a "lean body condition" when found, with a severe infestation of fleas, a skin complaint, and long pointed nails.
In addition, the RSPCA found three goldfish in a tank with dirty water and without any food.
There was also mouldy cat faeces present, along with an overflowing litter tray, but there were no cats present. Fenna, 23, of Blackheath Drive, Leasowe, was the owner of the pets and described as the "main offender."
She told RSPCA inspectors she stopped looking after the pets for a number of days because she was too busy and had been unwell.
However, Hopkinson, 32, of Argyle Street, Birkenhead, had failed to step in and look after them.
The vet who treated the dog said that had the RSPCA not stepped in when they did, the pet would have been "in much poorer shape."
Fenna was given a 12-month community order and put under a curfew for eight weeks. She was also ordered to pay the RSPCA's costs of PS330.
Hopkinson was also given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of PS330.
Both were disqualified from keeping any pet for a period of five years.
Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: "Fenna and Hopkinson were in the process of moving to a new property and it appears that the animals were the last items to be collected.
"Whether the couple had other things going on in their lives or not this is simply unacceptable. Thankfully the dog and fish have now all been rehomed and are receiving the level of care they deserve."
Sophie Fenna and Robert Hopkinson leave Wirral Magistrates Court in Birkenhead. They had left dog Daisy with no food or water when they moved house