A MAN left his dog to die after he fled to escape drug dealers he owed money to.
Michael Riley’s pet collie-cross was left without food and water in a locked bedroom in a deserted Crosland Moor house, Kirklees magistrates were told.
The animal was found dead by an RSPCA inspector
Riley, 36, yesterday admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Magistrates were told that the dog was alive when housing support officer Diane Stephenson came to Riley’s home on Blackmoorfoot Road.
Andrew Davidson, prosecuting for the charity, said that she visited the house on November 1 last year and saw a Rottweiler dog.
Ms Stephenson could also hear the other dog upstairs but Riley claimed that it belonged to his sister.
She returned on January 12 and could hear the dog, although there was no reply from Riley.
The officer was then told by Riley’s mother that he was no longer living there and she provided his contact details.
Riley explained that he had fled the house and that someone else was looking after the dog, but didn’t say who.
On March 19 Ms Stephenson went to Riley’s old house again.
Mr Davidson said: “She found a dog which had died.
“It was curled up and confined in a small box room.
“The officer left the property without disturbing anything and contacted the RSPCA.”
Magistrates were told that later that day RSPCA inspector Emma Brook attended.
Mr Davidson said: “The dog was emaciated, its eyes had sunken into its sockets.
“It had in a collar which was very loose around its neck.
“A tag on it said that it was called Blue.
“There were piles of dog faeces in the room and no food or water.
“There were two empty bowls on the floor and in the fridge there was three large unopened tins of dog food.”
Mr Davidson said that elsewhere the inspector found Christmas cards still on display and a number of unopened letters, one dated from February this year.
Magistrates heard that Blue’s body was later examined by vet Julia Osbourne at the Vets4Pets practice in Huddersfield.
Mr Davidson said: “She stated that the dog weighed 7.7 kilogrammes was extremely underweight.
“There was no eye tissue and very little muscle tissue.
“Her abdomen was sucked in due to the lack of food she had received.
“The conclusion she came to was that the dog had died from a lack of adequate nutrition.
“In her opinion the time frame of suffering could have been a few weeks.”
Riley said in interview that he had moved out after Christmas.
He said that he became involved with drug dealers and his life was now at risk because he owned money to them.
Riley confirmed that he had been the owner of Blue since 2008.
He claimed that he had asked a man living in Paddock to feed his dog every day, but this man had lost the house keys.
Magistrates were told that unemployed Riley was last in court in 2006 for a drugs related matter.
The bench warned him that his case has passed the custody threshold.
They allowed an adjournment so that he can be assessed for a drug rehabilitation order.
Riley will now be sentenced on December 10.