A GRIMETHORPE woman who starved her dog in a ‘three-month period of suffering’ has been banned from keeping animals for life and handed a suspended prison sentence.

Kirsty Yoxall, 33, of Hastings Street, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on June 6 after being found guilty at an earlier hearing to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to her Staffordshire bull terrier, named Tommy.

The RSPCA found the dog with his ribs, hips and spine all prominent.

The animal charity became aware of the dog after being contacted by police, who attended Yoxall’s address for an unrelated incident.

RSPCA inspector Tasmin Drysdale said: “On arrival at the address, I was met by police. They had entered the property in relation to other matters and had been informed prior to attendance that the dog was inside.

“The dog was being held by a neighbour on the street who had wrapped the dog in a blanket.

“I would describe the dog as a male brindle Staffy who was in an emaciated condition, as the ribs, hips and spine were prominent.

“I was informed the dog was called Tommy, and he was approximately six years old.

“I then went upstairs as this was apparently where the dog had been living.

“There were three bedrooms upstairs and each had multiple piles of faeces in each room.”

Tommy was taken to a vet who examined him, finding him to weigh 8kg.

The court heard that the vet was of the opinion that Tommy had been suffering for at least three months.

In mitigation, the defence said that the Yoxall had mixed with the wrong crowd which led her to drug problems and this led to the animal being neglected.

They stated that the offending was unintentional and that she had since detoxed.

During sentencing, the magistrate said: “This is a case of prolonged neglect and suffering and it is pure luck that the police raided the house that day to stop the dog from dying.”

She was handed a lifetime ban on keeping animals as well as a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

She was also ordered to pay £548 compensation.