Mum banned from keeping pets

A MOTHER-OF-THREE from Portishead has been banned from having pets for five years after keeping her puppy tethered to a door handle while she was away from home.

Naimh Lovett, of The Martins, pleaded guilty to two acts of animal cruelty against her six-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier Peppa when she appeared before North Somerset magistrates on July 31.

RSPCA prosecutor, Elaine Laken, said inspectors were called to the house by neighbours on May 25. When they arrived no-one was in and they discovered a dog tied to a door handle at the back of the house on a short chain.

She said: “The dog was barking frantically and was unable to move around and when it sat down it couldn’t breathe very well and was panting. It was surrounded by rubbish including dirty nappies and faeces.”

Neighbours told inspectors the puppy had been left for three days, which was denied by Lovett.

The RSPCA called police and a North Somerset Council housing officer to get into the house, where they found a small grey kitten scavenging through the rubbish and an older black and white Staffordshire bull terrier. The animals were taken away and a note left for their owner.

Lovett, aged 24, told the court she had been trying to re-home Peppa, because the animal would ‘trash the house’ when she was out.

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When the inspectors visited Lovett, she was staying with her mother in Weston following a break-up with her partner but returned the next day to see to her pets.

She said: “The kitchen wasn’t in a mess when I left but the puppy goes through the bin and I didn’t think to move it out of her way.

“Peppa trashed the house all the time and covered it in poo and I couldn’t stand it any more.

“This was the only way I could think of to stop her.”

RSPCA inspectors had previously visited the property after neighbours complained and had issued Lovett with warnings but said generally the animals had been well looked-after.

Ms Laken said the organisation would try to re-home the older dog, Jez, which Lovett had owned for eight years, with a family member.

Lovett was fined �55 for each offence and ordered to pay �100 in court costs.