GRAPHIC PICTURE: Happy ending as terrier saved from starvation is rehomed in St Albans

Patch with his new owner Lulu Jenkins.

Patch with his new owner Lulu Jenkins. - Credit: Archant

Young animal abusers who starved a St Albans dog have been banned for life from owning pets.

Patch when he was first discovered.

Patch when he was first discovered. - Credit: Archant

Worchester couple Danielle Rogers, 19, of Durham Road, and Keeley Scott, 19, of Chedworth Drive, owned two dogs - but only Patch the Staffordshire bull terrier survived the ordeal.

Patch was rehomed in St Albans by Lulu Jenkins and her six other rescue dogs, after being handed into the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre in Potters Bar.

He was initially handed into Worchester’s Ambleside Vets in December 2016 because he weighed half a healthy weight for his breed, only 9.8kg.

RSPCA inspector Rachel Hayward said: “He was frightfully thin, you could see every bone in his body including the shape of his skull - he was a walking skeleton.”

She traced Patch’s owners and they admitted to dumping the body of a second starved dog in a plastic bag in a park nearby.

“Those poor dogs were locked inside a flat, hidden away from view and left to slowly die. Their basic needs simply weren’t met and as they lost more and more weight their owners simply ignored them.

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“Sadly, it was too late for poor Lulu. But Patch had a chance and we were determined to get him back to health.”

After rehabilitation, hindered by a condition called megaesophagus which meant he could not eat properly, Patch was nursed back to 16kg.

Lulu said: “He is great and lives life to the full.

“He has settled in really well and gets on well with the other dogs and animals.

“He can eat normally and enjoys having treats and chews. He is utterly ball obsessed and loves chasing feathers from the geese when they’re floating around the garden.

“He is such a character and we love him to pieces.”

Rogers and Scott were convicted in absence in July of two offences - causing unnecessary suffering to Patch and Lulu.

The couple have been each sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, ordered to pay a total of £355 each, and have been disqualified from owning pets.