A couple chained their dog up in their Northampton home and neglected it so badly it had to be destroyed, a court heard.
Tiffa Miller and Katie Rattley’s Staffordshire bull terrier, Diesel, was found shackled and emaciated with a flea infestation when an RSPCA officer visited the couple’s home in Ecton Brook, on September 27 last year.
The officer took the dog straight to the vet, but it had to be put down.
Northampton Magistrates Court heard the couple had not taken the eight-year-old dog to the vets for six years because they could not afford to, despite Miller spending more than £20 a week on cigarettes.
Miller, aged 23, of Sharrow Place, Ecton Brook, and mum-of-three Rattley, aged 23, of Collyweston Road, Rectory Farm, Northampton, both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Laura O’Malley, prosecuting, said: “The RSPCA attended the address in Collyweston Road in response to a complaint about the health of the dog.
“She could hear the clinking of a chain.
“That was part of the allegation, that it was constantly tied up to the bannister.
“The ribs, hips and spine were visible and there was a significant flea allergy.
“Katie Rattley said she didn’t have the money to take it to the vet and she had other problems in her life.”
Dan Green, mitigating, said: “They have taken part in the process and have not tried to hide their guilt.
“They have had problems in their own lives, which have effectively created the situation with the dog.”
An application was made for the couple to be banned from keeping animals, and to pay £558 in costs.
The case was adjourned for reports ahead of sentencing later this month.