Caged boxers starved to death next to bags of dog food [Warning: upsetting images]

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Two young boxers were found starved to death in a crate inside a kitchen, only feet away from bags of dog food and treats. The bodies of two-year-old Bruno and 18-month-old Ruby were found curled up together in the crate by police on 14 July 2020. 

RSPCA inspector Vanessa Reid was called to the home in Maltby, South Yorkshire, by police who were concerned about the welfare of animals inside the property after seeing flies at the windows. Unfortunately, it was too late for the two boxers.

Inspector Reid said, “I arrived to find police officers had already been granted access by the owner to find the dead bodies of two boxers in a crate in the kitchen.

“When I entered the house I could immediately smell a strong aroma that I know to be the smell of rotting dead bodies. The house was quite dark with all blinds closed, and had very little furniture inside. I had walked past several bags of dog food, some opened, some full and sealed, along with other dog items such as toys and leads.

“The kitchen was cluttered and grimey. On the side, there was a jar full of dog chews, a large bowl full of dog food, and a smaller bowl containing a small amount of food and some faeces. In the centre of the kitchen was a large training crate containing the remains of two dogs.”

She added, “They were laid together, tucked up beside a bowl which was on its side. I’m not sure whether it was a food or water bowl but it had been licked clean. There was a layer of thick faeces in and surrounding the cage. I tried to move the bodies, which had begun to decompose, and saw there were maggots present.”

The dogs’ owner, Stephen New, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (18 November) and pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to two boxer dogs. New also explained he’d “shut everything out” as he struggled to cope with the death of his girlfriend, and accepted full responsibility for their deaths.

Inspector Reid added, “These poor dogs were left to starve to death inside a cage – with jars full of dog treats and open bags of food just metres away. New was solely responsible for those dogs and allowed them to die slowly in front of him.

“But it was clear to me that he was also suffering himself. When I spoke to him, he was visibly emotional and said he was sorry.”

New was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £400 in costs. He was also disqualified from keeping all animals for life. 

Support is available to people struggling with grief and loss.

Images by RSPCA

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