Court orders arrest of dog cruelty couple

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MAGISTRATES have ordered the arrest of a couple who failed to turn up for a dog cruelty case.

Jennifer Jayne Plater and Michael Knight were found guilty in their absence of causing unnecessary suffering to their pet dog Lola.

Neighbours called in the RSPCA to investigate after becoming concerned about the severe weight loss suffered by the Wiemaraner dog.

But Plater, 39, and 40-year-old Knight, failed to appear before Wigan and Leigh Magistrates to answer joint charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the pet by failing to investigate Lola’s weight loss and poor condition.

They were also accused of failing in a duty of care to ensure they met the dog’s needs for fresh drinking water.

Now magistrates have issued an arrest warrant for the pair, who live in Rutland Road, Tyldesley, warning that they could face up to four months in jail for the offences.

Tony Stock, prosecuting on behalf of the Society, said that the alarm had been raised after witnesses were shocked by Lola’s emaciated condition.

He said: “They said that they could see every bone in her body, she was so thin.”

RSPCA Inspector Vicky McDonald was called to the house and seized the dog after finding that Lola was very emaciated with her skeletal features visible.

Mr Stock added: “When she lifted Lola into the Society’s vehicle she was taken aback by how light Lola was and how easy it was to lift her.”

Vet Angus McKenzie, who examined Lola on behalf of the charity, found the dog to be dehydrated and suffering as a result of being starved for “at least six weeks or longer.”

The dog was taken into the care of the RSPCA on December 14 weighing just 15.5 kg.

But by January 29, she had doubled her weight through normal feeding. The dog has now been rehomed by the RSPCA.