Woman gets five-year ban for animal abuse

Neglected: Soldier the dog

A young woman from Hackney has been banned from keeping animals for five years after leaving her dog on a balcony without food and water.

Savannah Spencer, 24, of Hasset Road, Hackney, kept her tan and white Staffordshire bull terrier, Soldier, on the balcony where he was left without basic necessities and unprotected from the elements and disease.

RSPCA inspector Imara O’Niocail visited the flat 18 times within four months, giving Spencer numerous warnings to move the dog to a safe place, before the pet was taken away by the RSPCA and police last November.

O’Niocail said: “Soldier was kept in a space far too small for him with no proper shelter and no water, which dogs need to have access to at all times. He could have injured himself jumping off the balcony, and he was forced to lie and walk in his own faeces and urine.

“This is a terrible situation for a dog, as dogs are sociable animals which need exercise, companionship and stimulation. Not only did Soldier have no shelter from the weather but not having access to water would have caused him a lot of distress.”

At Thames Magistrate Court on Wednesday 16 March, Spencer admitted to not meeting the welfare needs of her dog and was banned from keeping animals for five years. She was also given a curfew with electronic tagging for 28 days, and ordered to pay a £250 fine.

O’Niocail warned: “Leaving dogs on balconies has become commonplace in some areas of London and the RSPCA is advising owners that they must provide their pets with access to adequate shelter, food and water, as a failure to do so could result in prosecution.”

Soldier is currently being looked after by the RSPCA and is being prepared for a new home.

Shadya Houry

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