Mum starved dogs when depressed

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 May 2014

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

Archant

A WESTON mother of four starved her two dogs, causing damage to one of the animal's livers, a court was told.

Tanya Chidgey, of Brue Close, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to her two Staffordshire bull terriers, Asbo and Fizz, at North Somerset Courthouse last Thursday.

Chidgey, aged 35, failed to provide them with an adequate diet between June 24 and September 4 last year and was charged with a second offence of not taking steps to ensure the needs of the terriers were met between August 3 and September 4 last year.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Lindi Meyer, said the case had been proved in Chidgey’s absence and an officer from the animal welfare charity removed the dogs from Chidgey’s care, after seeing the dogs’ ribs, hip bones and spines were prominent.

She said: “Through a window the officer could see the dogs and could see they were incredibly thin.

“There were two empty bowls in the room and faeces on the floor. There was no food in the property for the dogs.

“The defendant appeared to be in a tired state and agreed to hand them over. She agreed they had not been looked after properly and she was suffering from depression, and turned to drink because her children had been taken away.

“The dogs had eaten her meals when she could not finish them and the dog food had run out, but she had given them her KFC meal that night.

“She agreed she had been struggling but could not face re-homing them. The vet believed they were malnourished for six to eight weeks and that this suffering was unnecessary.”

Ms Meyer also told the court on September 3 the male dog Asbo weighed 10.45kg and nine days later, once put on a regular diet, his weight had increased by nearly 40 per cent.

The female, Fizz, weighed 10.6kg and within 10 days her body weight also increased by 40 per cent.

David Bird, defending, said Chidgey’s partner of 16 years left the family home in 2012 and three of the children went with him.

He said: “This took her into a desperate downward spiral. She surrendered the fourth child to the father and that caused her even more turmoil.

“She had a mental health breakdown and saw her GP and was given some help from 2012-2013, which was when the offences, prosecuted by the RSPCA, took place.”

Mr Bird asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared before the magistrates decided on a sentence, which will take place on May 19. Chidgey was released on unconditional bail.

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