Couple who abandoned dogs to starve sentenced [WARNING: upsetting images]


A starved Jack Russell and the body of a Yorkie cross were discovered in a bedroom of a home in Doncaster. The couple who abandoned these dogs appeared before Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 4 December. They each received 14-week prison sentences, suspended for 12-months, and are disqualified from keeping dogs for life. 

When I opened the door to the bedroom Missy ran straight past me, she was so desperate to get out

Frazer Hugh Massey and Zoe Natasha White left their property on Wembley Road, Moorends, in June, after an incident during which police were called – and had never gone back. They had left their pets locked in an upstairs bedroom without food or water, and a concerned member of the public contacted the RSPCA four days later to establish whether anyone was attending. 

RSPCA Inspector Tamsin Drysdale spoke with White who said the 15-year-old daughter of a friend was attending, and that they were returning the day after, but that didn’t happen.

At the hearing they admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to eight-month-old male Yorkshire terrier cross Rexy and seven-year-old female Jack Russell Missy by leaving them unattended, without taking reasonable steps to ensure that adequate arrangements were made for their care. 

Scratch marks on the carpet where the dogs were trying to escape

RSPCA inspector Tamsin Drysdale said, “When I opened the door to the bedroom Missy ran straight past me, she was so desperate to get out. Then I saw the scratch marks in the carpet where the dogs had clearly been trying to escape.

Rexy’s body found amongst the rubbish in the upstairs bedroom

“I went downstairs and gave Missy some water, and she drank excessively and for a long period of time. Rexy wasn’t so lucky. His body was amongst the clothes, empty takeaway boxes and fizzy drink bottles on the floor.”

A subsequent post-mortem revealed Rexy had most likely starved to death, and veterinary examinations found he was very thin with a lot of flea dirt in this coat. Missy was also found underweight by the vet, drinking large volumes of water and eating ravenously when food was offered. She was also very itchy, with fleas and flea dirt in her coat.

Rexy’s veterinary examination found him covered in flea dirt

Missy was taken on by RSPCA Doncaster and Rotherham Branch Animal Centre in Bawtry, from where she has been happily rehomed.

Inspector Drysdale said, “It’s hard to imagine any circumstances where I would leave my dogs locked in a bedroom alone, without food or water, and without ensuring that someone was attending to them, like Massey and White did here.

Missy the Jack Russell, found underweight

“The animals were discovered after I got a call from White saying she wanted to rehome them and directing me to a spare key so that I could go and get them. If they’d done that sooner, both dogs might have survived.”

As well as the suspended prison sentence and disqualification, Massey was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work. White was also given a curfew order between the hours of 7pm and 7am. They were ordered to pay £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £115 each.

Images by RSPCA.


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