Cruel Blackpool dog owners banned from keeping animals for 10 years

Ryan Seel, 28 and Debbie Slater, 33, both admitted cruelty offences when they appeared at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

Now, (Wednesday, June 28), the pair – both of Peter Street, Blackpool – were returned to court for sentencing. They have been banned from keeping animals for the next decade.

Three of the couple’s six Jack Russells would most likely have died in 24 hours, said the RSPCA, if the charity hadn’t seized the dogs and taken them to an animal hospital for emergency treatment.

RSPCA prosecutor Paul Ridehalgh described how the dogs were severely underweight and their bones were clearly visible under their skin.

Slater and Seel each admitted two offences of causing the Jack Russell dogs unnecessary suffering and failing to maintain the animals' welfare by giving them adequate food and water.

The court heard how council staff were first alerted to the plight of the six Jack Russells after a number of complaints about the dogs making noise.

Council officers visited the home and later reported them to the RSPCA. The charity’s welfare team then investigated and removed the dogs after discovering how underweight they were .

"Three of the six were 24 hours from death ," said the prosecutor. “This was either due to long term poor diet or short term starvation.”

Defence lawyer Gerry Coyle – representing Ryan Seel – said his client lived in a property which suffered from damp and leaks. He added that the pair were on Universal Credit and ‘living in poverty’ and unable to afford vets fees.

“What happened with the dogs was not because they don’t love and care for them, but for financial reasons,” he told Magistrates.

The couple were banned from keeping animals for 10 years and were each handed a one year community punishment with ten rehabilitation days.

Handing out the ban, chairman of the Magistrates Paul Farquhar told them: “You inflicted a high level of suffering and prolonged ill treatment on those poor dogs.”

Seel must also complete 100 hours unpaid work and Slater was given a four month curfew. The pair were each ordered to pay £414 in costs.