King’s Lynn woman could be banned from keeping dogs

An unemployed mother-of-one could be banned from keeping dogs for life after admitting leaving two dogs in a kitchen without food or water for days.

Kirstirn Alisha Gourlay, 32, pleaded guilty at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court yesterday to causing unnecessary suffering to her Staffordshire bull terriers Bifta and Nyla in September last year.

The 32-year-old, of Blackfriars Road, King's Lynn, also admitted a charge of not ensuring the needs of her dogs were being met when she left them confined in her small kitchen contaminated by urine and faeces and without food and water.

Jonathan Eales, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, handed magistrates pictures of the dogs and the kitchen taken by RSPCA officers when they entered Gourlay's former home in Montgomery Way on September 28. He also showed the court pictures of how the dogs look now they are fully recovered.

He said: 'RSPCA officers first visited the property on September 25. There was no response but they could see inside and saw the two dogs in the kitchen.

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'The officers put seals on the doors at the property and when they returned two days later, nobody had been inside the property so a warrant was sought to enter the property and remove the dogs.

'The dogs were then taken to the vets and were both clearly emaciated and had lost a third, if not more, of their body weight. They were also extremely dehydrated.'

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When interviewed, Gourlay admitted leaving the dogs in a confined space before telling RSPCA officers she had little or no money to pay for dog food. Mr Eales asked magistrates to consider disqualifying Gourlay from ever having dogs again to 'prevent further suffering in the future'.

In mitigation, Roger Glazebrook told the court Gourlay, who has a teenage son, had been the victim of domestic violence in a previous relationship which caused her severe depression.

He continued: 'She has now seen a doctor for her depression and been referred to a well-being clinic. She also went cold turkey and managed to stop taking amphetamine.

'She is clearly trying to do something about her position. She knows she is likely to be disqualified from having dogs and she accepts this given the circumstances.'

Magistrates ordered the probation service to prepare pre-sentence reports and told Gourlay to return to court on April 5 to be sentenced.

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