March 2020

Horrific conditions where dog was found starving in owner’s kitchen

These pictures show the horrific squalor where a Jack Russell was found starving and in an “emaciated” condition in a man’s kitchen.

The dog, called Riley, had a weight of around 3kg – an animal of that type should ideally weigh around 7kg.

His hips, ribs and spine were clearly visible, he was shedding fur and his nails were too long.

Riley was discovered in Anthony Bittlestone’s kitchen last year by an RSPCA inspector, who reported that the floor had been littered with faeces.

These photographs have been released by the RSPCA after Bittlestone, of Lilywhite Terrace, Easington Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and failing to ensure the dog’s welfare.

The court was told that an inspector visited the defendant’s property a number of times in October last year before gaining access and finding Riley in a “shocking condition”.

The dog was described as being “extremely thin and very lethargic”, and was taken to a vet for examination.

Bittlestone was given an 18-month community order and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Riley was taken into the care of the RSPCA and has since gained weight and improved in health.