TWO dead dogs were left to rot in a run-down house in South Tyneside.
David Rymell’s Staffordshire bull terriers were found under clothing and household items after they were left to decay for around a year.
Magistrates in South Tyneside heard that Rymell, 33, left the dogs with bones strewn across the floor of his South Shields home because he “could not face” going into the property.
Magistrates were told that, after the death of his 15-year-old dog, Bud, Rymell left the animal in the lounge and locked the other dog in the kitchen and abandoned his home, only returning to collect post.
After eight days Rymell’s other dog, Weiser, aged seven, was also found dead.
Denise Jackman, prosecuting, said vets could not determine a cause of death for either dog, and they had been left covered up by clothes and cushions.
Rymell, a scaffolder, now of Cornhill, Jarrow, admitted to two counts of failing to meet the needs of an animal, and was banned from keeping dogs for 15 years and fined £260.
Ms Jackman said the offences took place between January 2012 and June 2013.
She said the dogs were found in June last year, when bailiffs forced their way into the home to repossess it after Rymell stopped paying rent.
RSPCA officers were called and found the dogs’ decomposed carcasses, and no sign of water, food or bowls.
Rymell told police he was so shocked at the death of Bud he could not put himself through going into the house every day.
Paul Kennedy, defending, told magistrates this was a case of “short-term neglect” and said his client showed “genuine remorse”.
He said: “After the deaths he could not face going into the house, which was being renovated at the time. The dogs were his life.
“He loved for them, cared for them and fed them.
“He has indicated to me that he is not interested in getting another dog because he will never be able to replace the ones he had.”
After the case, RSPCA inspector Catherine Richardson said: “The disqualification means we don’t have to worry about another dog going through the same thing.
“I’ve been an inspector for two years and this is the worst case I’ve seen.
“It’s a shame that by the time we found out about it, both dogs were already dead.”
Rymell was given a 12-month community order with a 200-hour unpaid work requirement.