A COUPLE have been banned from keeping animals for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to their four dogs.
Samantha Currie and Gary Kirby, of Grant Street, Horden, have been given the disqualification after the case was brought against them by the RSPCA.
They will not be allowed to apply for the order to be removed for three years.
Currie, 21, and Kirby, 27, were also each given a 12-month community order with 100-hours unpaid work and told to pay costs of £162.50.
They were sentenced at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to each dog, which included a lurcher called Flint, Husky bitch called Zena and their two puppies, and a fifth of not taking steps to ensure Zena was protected from pain, injury and disease.
The bench had been told the animals were kept in a kitchen where its floor was covered with diarrhoea and they were hungry and thirsty.
Viv Waugh, mitigating on behalf of the unemployed couple, said they had struggled to cope with the pets after the birth of their daughter who was sick with a heart murmur.