A 29-YEAR-OLD has been banned from keeping dogs for five years after he left his two pets in squalid conditions.
Daniel Higgs, of Salisbury Drive, Midway, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to causing unnecessary suffering to animals when he appeared before Burton magistrates.
The dogs were living in dirty, damp conditions in his kitchen. One of them, an English bull terrier, was kept in a cage, and there was no food for them found in the house when police and RSPCA inspectors visited in September last year.
Dirt found on the door suggested the dogs had tried to get out and the floor was covered in dinner knives, tin lids, urine and faeces.
Roger Price, prosecuting, said: “The English bull terrier was thin, its skin was broken because it had been rubbing itself against a wire cage.
“He (Higgs) refused, when asked, to sign the dog over. The dog had a strong unpleasant body odour, there was thickening of the skin and fur loss.
“There was evidence of infection, especially around the rump area, and bloody ooze caused by deep boils.
“The dog had discharge coming from its eyes caused by conjunctivitis. Had the condition not been addressed it could have led to long-term implications.”
Higgs said in interview that no matter what he did, the skin condition would not clear up.
A pregnant Staffordshire bull terrier was also neglected. It was described as having a strong smell of urine.
Pallo Dharriwal, defending, said Higgs had been suffering from depression. She said: “What we’ve got to take into account is his state of mind at the time. Prior to this occasion he had been in a stable relationship, having been married with two children aged seven and five.
“He suffered a breakdown in the relationship when his wife left him with his children. Things started to spiral out of control for him and he turned to alcohol. You may say that is no excuse, but what we have to say is let’s take his circumstances into account.”
Higgs was also given a six-month community order and told to pay £500 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.