‘Dog lover’ who left Staffies in filthy house with no food or water banned by RSPCA

RSPCA officers were called to an address in Wigan
RSPCA officers were called to an address in Wigan

A man who left three dogs in filth without food or water at an unoccupied house has been banned from keeping any animals for five years.

An RSPCA officer who filmed the disgusting conditions the dogs were kept in at Blackpool, where the floors were covered with faeces and urine, described the stench inside as “overpowering.”

Christopher Hatton, 30, formerly of Southbank Avenue, Marton, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of three Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dogs.

In addition to his animal ban he was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 20 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, ordered to be deprived of his last remaining dog and hand it over to the RSPCA and fined £120 with £200 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Paul Ridehalgh, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Hatton phoned the RSPCA on December 8 last year asking for help to feed the five dogs he had at his then property in Southbank Avenue.

He agreed to sign two dogs over to the charity and kept two which belonged to him and another which belonged to a woman.

An RSPCA inspector afterwards made a number of calls to the property and warned Hatton about the conditions the dogs were being kept in.

On February 4 this year the inspector called again and found the condition for the dogs in the property had become horrendous. Faeces and urine covered the floors and there was no food or water for them.

The court was shown video footage of the property.

Hatton told the charity that the woman who owned one of the dogs had said she would clear up after them.

Paul Huxley, defending, said Hatton described himself as a “dog man” and “dog lover.”

He and the woman he shared the address with had had to vacate the property and as neither of them had a permanent address decided it was safest for the dogs to leave them there.

The woman had the only key to the address so Hatton could not get in. The woman had said she would see to the dogs but Hatton could see the property was getting into a mess. At times he pushed dog food for them to eat through the letterbox.

The dogs were found to be in relatively good health but Hatton admitted the conditions they had been kept in had been grim.