Lowestoft owners of 'skinniest' mastiff fined and banned

Hench, Neapolitan mastiff from Lowestoft
Image caption Hench weighed half his expected body weight (left) when found, but has since put weight back on

The owners of a dog which was the "skinniest ever seen" by an inspector who found it in an emaciated state have admitted causing unnecessary suffering.

The RSPCA said the Neapolitan mastiff, called Hench, weighed 5 stone (32kg), just over half his healthy weight, when he was found in Lowestoft.

Edward Bull, 35, and Emma Bull, 34, both of Aspinall Close, pleaded guilty at the town's magistrate's court.

They were each fined £200 and banned from keeping animals for five years.

The RSPCA said the five-year-old mastiff should have weighed about 9st 6lb (60kg).

'Proper diet'

The dog was removed and rehabilitated by the charity at its Block Fen animal centre in Cambridgeshire.

Speaking after the case, inspector Nicola Thorne said there had been an issue with feeding the dog.

"The Bulls had another, much smaller Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog, who was a normal weight, but they seem to have been giving Hench the same amount of food and, of course, that was not adequate for its needs.

"Hench was the skinniest dog I have seen since I became an inspector nine years ago.

"He put on 13lb (6kg) during the first week on a proper diet."

The RSPCA said Hench had been found a "new, loving home".

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