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Dogs starve on diet of horse feed

A woman is convicted of causing unnecessary suffering after two dogs were found starving having been fed on horse feed

Reading Magistrates Court found a woman guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her two dogs after an RSPCA inspector discovered she was feeding them on horse feed.

Kim Ferris, 37, from Reading admitted causing unnecessary suffering, but in her defence claimed she struggled on just £86 a weekincome and that poor eyesight had lead to a mix up with their feed.

When the RSPCA inspector found the dogs in July, they were severely malnourished and the vet that examined them said they had been suffering for at least a month.

Taz, a nervous, 18-month-old German Shepherd, weighed just 21.5kg, while Molly a 10-year-old Old English Sheepdog, weighed 23 kg.

The court heard how Mrs Ferris claimed the dogs were fed twice a week with tinned meat, but couldn’t show the RSPCA inspector the tins because she had run out.

Mrs Ferris moved from London along with her three children to live in a caravan on a farm after separating from her husband two years ago. As well as Taz and Molly, the family also owned a Yorkshire terrier and two horses.

Her defence claimed that if she were banned from keeping animals – a condition of her tenancy – she would be evicted.

Mrs Ferris was given a two and a half year conditional discharge, banned from keeping dogs for five years and fined £520.

Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond said: “It’s not rocket science to give animals the correct food.”

“This case gives a clear message to pet owners who don’t give proper care and attention to their animals, that they will be dealt with.”

Molly hass since been rehomed, but Taz developed behavioural problems and was put to sleep on veterinary advice.

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