Two dogs nearly starved to death after being locked inside a squalid house.
One was so thin and not moving that the RSPCA inspector who found them thought he was dead.
Taz, a tan-coloured wire haired lurcher type, and Bud, a black and white collie, were in a desperate state when they were found abandoned in a house where they were living in filthy conditions on January 14.
RSPCA inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws said: “Taz and Bud nearly starved to death as a result of being left unattended, locked inside a squalid house.
“I found Taz lying in a duvet on a sofa, his closed eyes were sunken and he was not moving so initially I actually thought he was dead.
“I could feel every bone in his body and he was too weak to even lift his head. Bud was sitting on another sofa and was reluctant to stand.
“I believe they would have died if we had not been alerted to their plight when we were.”
Last week at South East Northumberland Magistrates Court, Daniel Taylor, 25, of Aln Street, Ashington, was banned from keeping animals for five years following an RSPCA prosecution.
At a previous hearing in July, Taylor pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and three offences of failing to meet their need for a suitable diet and fresh drinking water, to be protected from pain, suffering, injury or disease and failing to meet their need for a suitable living environment under the Animal Welfare Act.
He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, ordered to undertake 60 hours of unpaid work and to pay £100 in costs, together with an £85 victim surcharge.
When they were found, the dogs were surrounded by rubbish, glass and other hazards. There was a strong smell of urine and dog faeces covered the floor from one side of the room to the other.
Taz had to be carried to the RSPCA van as he was too weak to walk.
They were rushed to the nearest veterinary practice as both were in need of urgent treatment. Taz had pressure sores across his body and live fleas in his coat.
They had to be hospitalised for 11 days before they were well enough to be transferred to an RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre where they continued with their recovery.
The dogs’ journey of recovery back to full health was completed when they were rehomed together. It was clear to RSPCA centre staff that they wanted to remain together as Bud could not settle without his companion.
Kirsty said: “I recently had the pleasure of seeing the dogs again but now settled in their new loving home. The after pictures of Taz, who is now called Rufus, and Bud, who is now called Buddy, speak volumes and the lives they enjoy with their new owners are such a contrast now from when we rescued them.
“Both dogs frolic together in nearby fields, Buddy leaping into the air to catch his tennis ball while Rufus loves to run through the long grass.
“They’ve got the kind of lives all dogs should have now. They have gone from the worst of lives to the best of lives, they are living the dream.”