A MAN has been jailed and banned from keeping animals after his pet dog was found living in filthy conditions at the bottom of a cramped stairway.

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Nigel Purdy, from Stalham, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and ordered not to not keep animals for 10 years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the German Shepherd named Shadow - which was found in such a state of suffering that it ultimately had to be put down.

Purdy, 46, from Allen Meale Way, also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the dog’s needs were met.

Shadow was discovered by RSPCA inspectors and police at Purdy’s premises covered in urine and faeces, with severely matted hair. He was also underweight and weak after living in the “grossly contaminated staircase”, which was covered with excrement.

The charity said at one point Shadow would have probably been able to climb the stairs but as he became weaker he could no longer make it.

The 13 year old black and tan pet was taken to a vet but after being looked over it was decided the most “humane way” to deal with Shadow was to put him down.

At his first court appearance magistrates heard that Purdy had said in interview that he had tried cleaning Shadow but the dog had made his maintenance difficult. Purdy also told officers he suffered from depression and had a “good job” looking after himself and he had done everything he could for Shadow.

He was sentenced at Norwich Magistrate’s Court on November 30.

Speaking after the sentencing RSPCA inspector Amy Collingsworth said the charity was pleased with the court’s decision.

She added: “What is even more heartbreaking about this case is that the defendant would have had to pass or step over his dog Shadow and see how he was suffering every time he left and entered the property, but he did nothing about it.

“The dog was also panting heavily which we presume was because of the amount of extra weight he had been carrying from his filthy and matted coat, but underneath this coat he was extremely thin and weak on his back legs.

“This was neglect over a prolonged period of time, and we are satisfied with the court’s decision.”

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