A dog owner who starved his Staffordshire bull terrier so badly he was too weak to walk upstairs has been banned from keeping animals after claiming his 50-hour week working at KFC made him too depressed to care for the pet.
Maxie was rescued by an RSPCA inspector and was so emaciated that he looked ‘like a skeleton with fur’, judges heard.
The neglected animal weighed 11kg when he was found instead of the 18kg which is normal for a dog of his size.
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard the dog was given a body score of one out of nine and had no muscles in his legs.
Shaun Musson, 25, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Leafe said: ‘When I took Maxie to the vet he was so weak.
‘He had to keep stopping while walking because he just could not walk properly. He looked like a skeleton with fur.
‘As well as being underweight, he had an overgrown claw which was curling over into his pad.
‘It would have been incredibly painful for him.’
Inspector Leafe said: ‘Musson said he believed the dog had lost weight because he was stressed as he had gone from being at home all the time to working 40 hours a week.
‘But put simply Maxie lost a lot of weight as a result of not being fed properly.
‘He was such a skinny dog and you could see every single bone in his body.’
The court heard that a member of the public contacted the RSPCA after seeing Maxie.
Magistrates disqualified Musson from keeping all animals for 10 years and handed him a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £300 in costs.
Maxie is now in the RSPCA’s care and now weighs 18kg. He is ready for re-homing.
Inspector Leafe said: ‘He is the sweetest dog and he is good as gold.’