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Cruel couple jailed for starving their lurcher in one of 'worst cases of animal cruelty'

Reece Milburn, 30, and Kerry Patterson, 35, told the local council they had found three-year-old Tiggy at the side of the road.

An animal welfare officer attended the couple’s home in Blyth, Northumberland, and was disgusted by what he saw.

He said it was the “worst case he’d seen during his 15 years in the job”.

Photos of Tiggy show that she was missing most of her fur and was so starved her ribs jutted out through her shrunken body.

The lurcher pup, who was too weak to stand, was also severely dehydrated and suffered from dermatitis and a mite infestation.

She was found weighing half the weight she should have weighed.

Tiggy was found just a few days before Christmas in 2019 and the distressing images showing her malnourished frame went viral.

In response, Northumberland County Council launched an appeal to find the dog’s owners and received dozens of replies saying Tiggy belonged to Patterson and Milburn.

The couple appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates Court last Thursday (March 3) and admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The couple also owned another dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Enzo, who also had a skin condition and mite infestation.

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“We were absolutely determined that Tiggy’s former owners would have had their day in court and although it has taken two years, today we got the result we were after”.

He thanked the dedication of the team at Berwick Animal Rescue Centre and assured Tiggy “had a happy ending”.

He said: “She is a picture of health and happiness with a new home, a new life with dog companions, and even a new name.”

The couple’s other dog Enzo is still being cared for in kennels and is looking for his forever home.



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