Hartlepool mum spared jail after starving two dogs and blaming her children for not feeding them

A Hartlepool woman spared jail after she admitted starving two dogs saying she left it to her children to feed them.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 am

Natasha Corbett, 31, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog called Lucky and of failing to ensure the welfare of a second dog, Otis.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard vets found Lucky had a body condition score of 1 out of 9, along with painful, matted fur and Otis was significantly underweight with a score of 2 out of 9.

Magistrates sentenced Corbett to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. She was also banned from keeping animals for ten years, including her two cats, which she was told to surrender to the RSPCA.

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Picture of Lucky, shaved, issued by the RSPCA.
Picture of Lucky, shaved, issued by the RSPCA.

Corbett was also placed on a curfew for four weeks.

Stewart Heywood, prosecuting, said an RSPCA officer attended Corbett’s house in Meryl Gardens in early October after concerns were raised about the dogs’ welfare.

He said the dogs were being kept in metal pens inside an outbuilding and the officer could see they needed immediate vet care.

The prosecutor said: “She said she relied on the children to feed both the dogs, but admitted she did not check they were doing so.”

Picture of Otis issued by the RSCPA.

He said Corbett was given an RSPCA caution last year after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a number of puppies.

A spokesman for the probation service said Corbett, a former pupil at Manor College of Technology, is a single mother and works full time as a senior sales assistant for BrightHouse.

He said her two sons, aged nine and 11, were given the responsibility of caring for the dogs.

He said: “Ms Corbett now recognises that the responsibility to care for the dogs was her own.

“Due to her ignorance and lack of finance the dogs were not care for as they should have been.

“She feels guilty about what happened.”

Andrew Teate, defending, said the dogs had been brought into the family by Ms Corbett’s former partner who was then sent to prison.

He said Ms Corbett’s cats were well looked after and the RSPCA had no issues with their care.

He said: “The children were caring for the animals, she accepts with the benefit of hindsight that was unsatisfactory.”