A 28-year-old British woman was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison on Friday after she allowed her animals to starve to death. Police arrested and charged her in March after they found the pets' mummified remains in her home.
Emma Clark, of Melton, England, left three dogs, two cats, two rabbits, two snakes and a lizard locked in cages with no food, The Melton Times reported. Although Clark told animal welfare officers in February that she had given the animals new homes, she had actually just locked them in cages and allowed them to die.
Some of the animals were thought to have been left for five months before they were found. In the home, inspectors discovered decaying animals in different parts of the house. One dog was covered in used tea bags.
“In my 20 years, this is the most horrific case I’ve ever been to,” RSPCA inspector Sheona Morley said. “It is also the saddest.”
According to prosecutor Kevin McCole, inspectors had visited the house several times but there had never been a reply and they couldn’t see or hear any dogs. One neighbor reported that the home had been abandoned at that time for at least six weeks.
The grisly discovery was finally made when Clark’s ex-partner entered the home. He could smell something rotting and found the mummified bodies on March 8. Police arrived on the scene that day.
“There was no evidence of any water available for any of the severely emaciated animals,” McCole said. “The animals had died while in the defendant’s care and control.”
Clark eventually admitted that she had cared for the animals but that family troubles had prevented her from keeping them healthy.
Clark argued during the trial that she never wanted any of her pets to die.
Clark was sentenced on Friday to 18 weeks in prison and ordered to pay $600 in fines. She has also been banned from ever owning pets again.
Photo Credit: Newsteam, Melton Times, The Daily Mail