Life ban after greyhound left to starve

Tuesday, April 07, 2009, 08:10

A RETIRED racing greyhound was left so malnourished she plummeted to half her normal weight, a court heard.

Unemployed Brian Brunton, 49, was banned for keeping animals for life after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

Magistrates at Cheltenham were told Brunton, of Countess Lilias Road, Cirencester, struggled to feed six-year-old Tara after he stopped work because of an accident.

The alarm was only raised when the dangerously underweight animal escaped from Brunton's flat and was spotted by a neighbour, the court heard.

Crown Prosecutor Charlotte Mitchell said: "Tara was very weak, dehydrated and her muscles had wasted.
Click here!"She had been starved over a period of weeks rather than days.

"She should have weighed up to 30kg, but on discovery weighed just 15kg. After she was rescued she was constantly hungry."

Inspectors swooped on Brunton's former address in Siddington, near Cirencester, to rescue the animal in May 2008 following an investigation.

Brunton had init- ially denied he was responsible for Tara's emaciated condition, but changed his plea to guilty when due to stand trial yesterday.

Defending, Wendy Kingsbury, said Brunton had made efforts to have Tara rehomed after being forced to stop work due to injury.

She said: "He placed an advert in the local pet shop which was replied to, but he did not manage to rehome the dog."

Magistrates ordered Brunton to complete 100 hours of unpaid work as part of an 18-month community order.

He was also ordered to pay £500 towards the cost of the RSPCA prosecution. He will not be allowed to make an application to revoke the ban for five years, magistrates ruled.

Speaking outside court, RSCPA inspector Chris Simpson said that Tara "could barely stand" when she was rescued.

He said: "This was a very serious case for which the magistrates were considering a custodial sentence. It underlines that even if you are having financial difficulties you must not let caring for your pet slide." Mr Simpson said Tara had fully recovered from her ordeal and had been rehomed.

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