Life ban for Rochdale man who left pets to starve

Date published: 24 June 2019

The RSPCA were called to investigate and found the emaciated bodies of a cat and a dog at a Rochdale property.
A lifetime ban on keeping all animals has been given to a man after two dogs and a cat were starved at his home.

27 year old Scott Andrew Buik of Mellor Street in Rochdale, was found guilty in his absence of four animal welfare offences when he appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court at an earlier hearing (Monday 17th June).

At his sentencing hearing, the court heard how an RSPCA investigation began after Buik took his emaciated white and brindle Staffordshire bull terrier, called Buster, to a nearby vets on November 12th, 2018.

Buik told the vet that Buster had become unwell that morning but on examination it was clear the dog was starved and weighed just 11kg, a healthy dog of this type should be twice this weight.  

The vet examined Buster and said he was gravely ill, he was unable to lift his head and was emaciated with all his bones protruding. 

The vet put the poor dog to sleep to end his suffering.

Concerned Buster’s condition was caused by neglect, the vet contacted the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspectors Natalie Taylor and Nina Small visited Buik’s house that afternoon.

It was then that the body of another dog and a cat were found inside the property, both of which had starved to death.

Buik invited Inspector Taylor inside and showed her a cage where Buster had been kept in the kitchen.  

Next to this was another cage covered in a pink blanket and when she touched the blanket it was so full of fleas she said it was moving.

Then when she removed the blanket she was horrified to discover the emaciated body of a labrador-cross dog called Scarlett.

She could see the dog was severely underweight and her rib cage, spine, shoulders, and hip bones were prominent. 

It is believed she died the day before.

Then Buik led Inspector Taylor to the cellar of his house where she found the body of tortoiseshell female cat named Tilly.

She had been dead for some time as mould was growing on her face.

Buik had claimed he had been looking after Scarlet and Tilly for friends but while in his care they were left to starve. 

Inspector Nina Small said in her 16-year career with the RSPCA this has been one of the most horrific cases she has come across.

She said, “It was awful to see the condition of these animals they must have suffered a long and lingering death because they were denied food. 

They were clearly kept in atrocious conditions where they were locked away and really just left to rot.

The post mortem reports revealed pieces of plastic and metal in the dogs bodies so they had been so hungry they were trying to eat anything they could.

Withholding food when it was available and leaving these animals to suffer until they died is the most callous thing imaginable.” 

As well as a lifetime ban on keeping animals Buik was also given a 26 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and 150 hours unpaid work. 

He was also ordered to pay £1,280 costs and a victim surcharge of £115.

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