A WOMAN whose dog was found starving to death in its own filth is behind bars today.

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Millie Whitham, of Defoe Road, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to animal cruelty last month in a case one RSPCA inspector described as one of the worst he had ever seen.

Animal rights protestors also gathered at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court this morning for the sentencing, which came just weeks after the 47-year-old’s son, Cy, was jailed for the same offence.

Prosecutor Hugh Rowland said the case related to a Staffordshire bull terrier named KD, who was found at the Whithams’ former home in Donegal Road.

The bodies of two other decomposed dogs were also discovered in a shed at the property. However, their cause of death could not be determined and no charges were pursued in relation to those animals.

The emaciated KD was discovered when a pest controller was sent to the Donegal Road house on September 26, as there was a flea infestation.

When one of the two upstairs bedroom doors was opened the bull terrier ran out and down the stairs. The stench from the urine and dog mess in the room was awful.

Magistrates were told KD was malnourished, dehydrated, starving and crawling with fleas.

Whitham was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and disqualified from owning animals for 15 years.

RSPCA inspector Jason Finch said: “This sends out a very strong message that this kind of action just isn’t acceptable.

“Everybody’s situation changes, that’s part and parcel of life, but if that does happen, there is help out there – there is always somewhere for these animals to go.”

Protestor Marcia Hago, of the Essex Animal Defenders, added: “I am very happy that she has got a custodial sentence because nothing else would have been satisfactory.”

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