Woman given suspended prison sentence and five-year dog ban for neglecting her pets

News from the courts.
News from the courts.

A Blyth woman who severely neglected her two dogs has been prosecuted by Northumberland County Council.

Lindsay Tweddle who now lives on Holystone Avenue, appeared before magistrates at South East Northumberland Law Courts in Bedlington yesterday.

One of the Shih-Tzu dogs pictured during the health check.

One of the Shih-Tzu dogs pictured during the health check.

She had earlier pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her two Shih-Tzu dogs, known as Lexi and Mishka, between September 4, 2017, and October 19, 2017,

They were found abandoned, extremely malnourished, riddled with fleas and living in appalling conditions.

Yesterday, she was given a custodial sentence of eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, and a two-month electronically monitored curfew order to remain indoors between 7am and 7pm.

If Tweddle commits any further offences within the next 12 months, or fails to comply with the curfew, then the court can immediately impose an eight-week custodial sentence.

The dogs after they had received some love and care.

The dogs after they had received some love and care.

She was also banned from owning, or participating in the keeping of dogs for five years, and ordered to pay a total of £667 in costs.

A county council animal welfare officer secured a warrant to enter her property at Delaval Crescent, Blyth, following a report that the dogs had been abandoned there. Tweddle had been spending most of her time living at Holystone Avenue.

The animal welfare officer stated: ‘When I first saw the dogs, I was appalled at the condition they were in and the conditions they were living in.

‘The dogs were terrified and extremely underweight with their spines, ribs and hip bones clearly visible.

‘One weighed 6.14kg and the other 4.4kg. Their coats were heavily matted and a thick muggy brown colour and they were soaking wet from lying in their own urine.

‘They had no food or water and were locked in a hallway between the kitchen and living room with only access to the bathroom.

‘The smell of urine and faeces in the property was overpowering.’

Both dogs were taken away for a health check at St Clair Veterinary Care, Croft Road, Blyth, where they were given a bath and had the heavy matting shaved out of them.

The vet report presented in court said that both dogs were riddled with fleas and had excessive worms.

They were taken to Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels – where they were cared for and nursed back to full health. The dogs have now been rehomed.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We hope that this sentence serves as a warning to others.

“If you make a commitment to own a pet, then you must be able to care for it responsibly, or face the consequences.”

“The owner also admitted to leaving the dogs alone for a period of two weeks, which demonstrates an astonishing level of neglect.”