A Bradford mother and son have been jailed for four months each after they left two dogs to starve to death incarcerated in an attic. Julie Taylor, 50, of Northampton Street, Wapping, and Jamie Taylor, 31, of Prospect Road, Wapping, who were also both banned for life from keeping animals, wept as the sentence was handed down at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.
The rottweiler and Staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs had been kept in the attic at Mrs Taylor’s house, where they were found decomposing with maggots and flies on their emaciated bodies, the court was told. Prosecutor Nigel Monaghan said a board had been nailed in place to stop the dogs from going down the stairs, which would have also made it “extremely difficult” for anybody to tend to the animals. “It’s difficult without being dramatic to think of a worse case of animal cruelty,” he said.
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Mr Monaghan said the RSPCA officer who visited the house had described the smell of rotting flesh getting “stronger and stronger” as he climbed up to the attic where there was no clean air, bedding, food or water. The court was told a vet who examined the animals concluded they had died from starvation and dehydration and said “the appalling conditions and horrendous suffering would have been obvious to any lay observer”.
Both mother and son had pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by failing to provide them with an adequate diet and also admitted to failing to meet the dogs’ needs by not ensuring they were kept in a suitable environment between September 14 and October 14 last year. Sentencing them, bench chairman Harry Atkinson described the dogs’ suffering as “horrendous”. He said: “They had no access to the rest of the house nor to the outside world.” He added: “The dogs were prisoners upstairs in the house. They died from prolonged neglect.”