Hartlepool woman admits starving her dogs after report to RSPCA

A Hartlepool woman admitted starving her dogs, saying she left it to her children to feed them when she appeared before court.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:59 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.

Vets found Lucky had a body condition score of 1 out of 9, making it emaciated, and Otis was significantly underweight with a score of 2 out of 9.

Lucky’s fur was also extremely matted and pulling at the skin, which vets said would have caused a significant amount of pain to the animal.

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Picture of Lucky, shaved, issued by the RSPCA

Stewart Heywood, prosecuting, said an RSPCA officer attended Corbett’s house in Meryl Gardens in early October following a report to the charity from a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the animals saying they were being kept in cages.

He said the officer was taken by the defendant to the rear of the property where the dogs were being kept in a metal pen, and she could see they were underweight and Lucky’s fur was very matted, and said both pets needed immediate vet care.

Mr Heywood said: “The defendant said neither of the dogs had seen a vet.”

He said at the vet surgery Lucky was so thirsty he was trying to drink from the plughole.

Picture of Otis issued by the RSCPA

The prosecutor said: “She said she relied on the children to feed both the dogs.”

He said she admitted things had been difficult since her partner was sent to prison and she was struggling financially.

The court also heard that Corbett was prosecuted last year by the RSPCA for causing the unnecessary suffering to a number of puppies, which she had also pleaded guilty to at the time.

Talking about the latest incident, Mr Heywood said: “This is clear, prolonged neglect. One dog significantly underweight and the other starved to the point of emaciation. A high level of suffering has been caused.”

The case was adjourned by the magistrates until January 7 at 2pm for a pre-sentence report to be written.