Queenie didn't weigh more than 16 lbs when Stuart Wainwright, an English RSPCA investigator, discovered her. Considering her frightening state, the dog had to be euthanized. "I have seen dogs in better condition that were dead," he said during the trial against Sara Loche, the owner of the German Shepherd.
The 37-year-old British woman was brought in on multiple animal cruelty charges before the court in Grimbsy, located in northwest England. During the trial, the prosecteur, Rachel Taylor, attempted to prove that Sara Loche was deliberately negligent to the point of letting her dog die of hunger.
It was impossible, she explained, that the horrifying weight loss escaped her notice. "She knew it would have the effect of suffering," she told the judges. As for Richard Loche, the husband of the accused, he also faced similar allegations in the past and was forbidden to own pets for 10 years.
The inspector Wainwright testified before the judges to the state of emergency that Queenie was in at the time:
She was terribly emaciated - the worst I have ever seen.
Susan Knox, chief veterinarian at Blue Cross Animal Hospital, explained that the dog had lost consciousness before her arrival at the clinic. Incapable of standing upright, bones protruding, heart beating at an extremely low rate. Her muscles were almost non-existent, and she had lost all of the necessary fat for organ function. Judging by her state, it would have been futile to try and keep her alive.
The vets were clear: the dog did not suffer from any underlying illness which could have explained - or worsened - her condition. Only poor treatment from her owners could explain her critical condition.
Convinced by these different testimonies, the judge, Nick Hayles, recognized the direct responsibility of Sara Loche - who did not show up to trial - in the death of Queenie. She was thus found guilty of negligence for the health of her dog and voluntarily closed her eyes to the degradation and suffering of the animal.
It would have been several weeks and days to get to that state
Under a warrant for her arrest, Sara Loche will have jail time as well as ban from ever owning another pet. Inspector Wainwright said he was satisfied that the her responsibility for the incident was acknowledged in court and hopes that her sentence will stand up to the horror that she inflicted on Queenie.