Man banned from keeping animals after dog is put down

Cleo

A man's been disqualified from keeping animals for three years after his dog was described as "one of the thinnest" an RSPCA inspector had ever seen.

Cleo was so ill she had to be put down, the charity said.

Alex McWilliams, 38, was given a prison sentence of 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months, at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in north London.

McWilliams, from Kentish Town, was given a curfew with electronic tag from 8pm to 7am daily for four months.

He also has to pay costs of £250.

He was previously found guilty in his absence of offences under the Animal Welfare Act after causing unnecessary suffering to Cleo, his female tan Pitbull.

The RSPCA was called to his flat in March after concerns were raised about a "very thin dog".

Inspectors from the charity said they were "shocked" when they arrived and saw Cleo, who was thought to be around 10.

RSPCA inspector Nicole Broster said: "She was one of the thinnest living dogs I have ever seen.

"I was horrified to see how thin and weak she was. I did not think it was possible that any living animal could be so underweight. She was skin and bone.

Cleo

"We took her straight to the vets who tried everything they could to save her but after a few days said there was nothing they could do to ease her suffering and the kindest thing to do was put her to sleep to prevent further suffering.

"They confirmed she had been suffering from emaciation and chronic heart failure, with associated pulmonary disease. She also had painful overgrown nails and a chronic skin disease.

"It was so desperately sad to see how much pain she was in."

Investigations found that McWilliams had previously taken Cleo to a vet and was told to make sure treatment for her heart condition and fluid filled abdomen was continued.

He did not return to the vet and Cleo went for two months without treatment, the spokeswoman said.

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