An East Lancashire woman has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after she abandoned her husky and left it to fester in a room full of flies and faeces.

Sharon Hartley, also known as Sharon Sheriden, 40, of Newchurch Road, Bacup, pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences in relation to her dog Luna when she appeared before Burnley Magistrates Court on Friday May 14.

The court heard how the RSPCA were called to Hartley’s former address in Thorn Bank, Bacup, on July 21 last year after her landlord had been to the property and said he had seen a dog shut in the kitchen which was very skinny.

He said he believed the pet had been abandoned as he had not been able to get in touch with the tenant.

Animal rescuer, inspector Rebecca Goulding was sent to the scene and could see faeces and rubbish throughout the kitchen and scratch marks from a dog on the back of the kitchen door where it had tried to escape but couldn't see the pet.

Luna before

Luna before

She then spoke to neighbours who said they knew the occupant had a Husky called Luna but they hadn’t seen the dog or owner for a number of weeks.

Police were called along with the landlord so they could access the property.

Ms Goulding said: “In the kitchen we found a husky type dog in very lean body condition.

“The dog struggled to get to its feet, but once it was up was able to walk.

“There was a large amount of faeces throughout the kitchen, and various bits of household rubbish that the dog had been eating, including tin cans that she had chewed through.

"There was no water available for the dog, and no food down.

"There was a strong smell of urine and a large number of flies in the room.”

Luna before

Luna before

Luna was rushed to Greater Manchester Animal Hospital and a veterinary examination stated she weighed 10.7 kg when an average weight for the breed of dog would normally be about double.

All her ribs, spine and hip bones were clearly protruding and the vet concluded that she had been left without food and in a suffering state for days.

Hartley admitted to two offences, the first that on and before July 1 2020 at Thorn Bank, Bacup, she caused unnecessary suffering to a protected animal namely a dog known as Luna and knew or ought reasonably to have known that her failure to ensure the said animal received a suitable diet would have that effect or be likely to contrary to s.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

She also admitted to not taking such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the needs of a protected animal namely a dog known as Luna were met to the extent required by good practice in that she did not ensure the said animal was provided with a hygienic environment and/or one free from hazards contrary to s.9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

As well as a 10 year ban on keeping animals Hartley was also ordered to pay a £733 fine and £600 victim surcharge.

Thankfully within a month of care at the hospital, Luna gained 6.4kg in weight.

The kitchen where Luna was trapped

The kitchen where Luna was trapped

She was then transferred to the Halifax, Huddersfield and Bradford branch of the RSPCA and went on to find a loving home where she is now thriving.

Ms Goulding added: “Luna was in such a sorry state when she was found and you could see her hips and spine protruding and her face was gaunt.

“But she was such a sweet natured dog who adored human contact and was so friendly towards us.

“I am delighted she has been rehabilitated from her ordeal by dedicated staff at the Halifax, Huddersfield and Bradford branch of the RSPCA and she is in a loving home.

“The new owner has sent me photos of Luna as she is now and the transformation is amazing.”

Luna now

Luna now