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Woman allowed dogs to starve to death at Bury home
6:00am Saturday 30th November 2013 in News
TWO dogs were allowed to starve to death at a house in Bury, a court heard.
Tracey Cliffe, aged 31,was convicted at Bury Magistrates Court on Tuesday of causing unnecessary suffering to a number of dogs after keeping them in poor conditions.
Cliffe kept six dogs at the property in Eldon Street. When RSPCA officers went to he house on April 24, they found one male Rottweiler dead in the back yard, with an emaciated female Rottweiler curled up next to it.
The male Rottweiler, named Kaiser and around three years old, and a post mortem examination found it had died from malnutrition. The court heard Kaiser weighed 18.6kg, a normal weight would be about 45kg.
The female Rottweiler, named Jez, had recently had pups but was so weak it could not produce milk.
Four Rottweiler puppies were found in a cage in the kitchen, with no access to food or water. One puppy had died after being starved to death, and had been wrapped in newspaper.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, David McCormick said: “She had the only responsibility at the time for the welfare of these dogs, and clearly she failed the duty of care she had to these animals.”
The court heard that Cliffe had been in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, which she left in August, 2012, and now lives at her mother’s home in Colne.
She had also suffered from depression and started to self harm, and spent time at a mental health unit at Fairfield Hospital, Bury, before returning to the address in Bury.
Defending, Peter Antrobus said: “Her boyfriend said he wasn’t coming back, and that it was her responsibility to look after the dogs, as he had gone off with another woman.
“She therefore became fully responsible for the animals and she moved back in the house.”
“She had no money and relied on her friends to help provide for the animals. When she wasn’t looking after herself, she was looking after them.”
Jez was later rehomed and is now healthy. In her absence at a previous hearing, Cliffe was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and a puppy by failing to investigate and address the causes of their poor condition and weight loss.
She was also found guilty of failing to meet the needs of two dogs and three puppies by failing to meet their needs for a suitable environment. Cliffe was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on December 17.
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