A COUPLE have been disqualified from keeping animals for seven years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a young Staffy cross dog.

Samantha Dean, 25, and Thomas Evans, 33, both of Ashness Close, Mirehouse, Whitehaven appeared before West Cumbria Magistrates' Court today.

They were due to stand trial but instead pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to adequately explore and address the causes of the dog’s weight loss between January 14 and February 16 this year.

RSPCA inspector Martyn Fletcher said: “This poor dog was so poorly that vets considered putting her to sleep on welfare grounds.

“She was collapsed and her temperature was so low they couldn’t get a reading.

“She was extremely emaciated, with almost all the bones in her little body visible.

“She was in such a terrible state she needed to be hospitalised, where she was on a drip for several days.

“We put out a press appeal for information and it got a huge response, including from a number of people who gave us Dean and Evans’ details.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who got in touch.”

The court heard that Dean and Evans called a vets when Dara - now renamed Georgie - collapsed at their home saying they thought she was dying, but they pretended that she was not theirs, instead claiming that they had found her two days earlier.

As well as being disqualified, the pair were also sentenced to a 20-week community order including a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am. They were ordered to pay £425 costs and an £85 victim surcharge each.

After a lot of TLC at the vets, and then in foster care, Georgie made a full recovery and has now been very happily rehomed.

Inspector Fletcher said: “She’s doing absolutely brilliantly. I saw her in the summer and she looked like a different dog. Her owner says her character is coming out even more now, and she’s become quite mischievous.”