A man and woman were jailed after starving their dog to death and burying its carcass on public land.
Stacey Crawford, 24, of The Flats, Turner View, Illingworth and Craig Horsfall, 27, of Keighley Road, Illingworth, pleaded guilty at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court in August to encaging a bull terrier in a puppy cage and starving it to death, between February and March.
A member of the public alerted the RSPCA and inspector Charlotte Booker and a police officer dug up the burial spot near Bank Edge Road where one-year-old Lenny’s carcass was found.
Miss Booker, pictured, said: “It’s the worst case I’ve seen. It will live with me forever.”
Dog food was found in a search of the defendants’ Turner View property. The couple had cats and bearded dragons which were being fed.
When interviewed, both defendants admitted responsibility for the dog and having food available but not feeding Lenny. The court heard, Crawford and Horsfall did not call for help as they had no credit on their phones and failed to feed Lenny as he would bite.
Prosecution Mrs Forrett told the court the defendants made a “feeble” attempt to feed the canine.A post-mortem study found the emaciated canine was less than half of its ideal body weight at 10kg.
Mitigation Mr Manning said though the two initially showed no remorse they were now sorry for their actions.
Chair magistrate Mr Melvyn Smith said it was the worst animal cruelty case he had seen in 37-years and sentenced them to 18 weeks imprisonment on September 11 and disqualifed them from owning animals for life.