Hornchurch man jailed after starving puppy to death

�A cruel dog owner has been jailed after a puppy starved to death in a crate full of its own filth.

Paul Brunsden, 25, of Bevan Way, Hornchurch, was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison and banned for life from keeping any kind of animal by Dartford Magistrates on August 1, in one of the worst cases of animal cruelty investigators have seen.

Brunsden was living with former partner Stacey Lockhurst, 28, in Forest Road, Erith, when horrified RSPCA officers discovered the body of the emaciated German shepherd, named Jack.

The dog was left to live in its own excrement and then starve to death, the RSPCA said.

Sentencing Brunsden, Judge Michael Kelly, said: “It is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty I have ever come across. This dog was effectively tortured and neglected.”


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The RSPCA was called out to the address in May last year and found the dog, along with a cat and two kittens that were also seized.

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Brunsden and Lockhurst both admitted causing suffering to the dog and keeping cats in conditions likely to cause suffering.

RSPCA inspector, Alison Fletcher, said: “It is heartbreaking that this poor dog lived and then died in the squalor of this cage, hungry, thirsty and alone.

“This kind of cruelty is simply horrendous.”

The RSCPA first visited the couple in October 2010 after receiving a complaint but found a healthy puppy.

A spokesman said: “There were concerns about the puppy but no animal welfare laws had been broken. Sadly, we didn’t receive any more complaints about the dog until after it had died.”

She added: “This was a deeply distressing case for RSPCA inspectors to deal with and there was absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the owners to neglect this poor dog in this horrendous way.”

Sentencing for Lockhurst, who now lives at Brook Street, has been adjourned until September 7.

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