A Staffordshire woman has been sentenced to a lifetime ban on keeping animals, as well as a suspended prison sentence, following her neglect of a dog and two horses.

Claire Machin, 37, was convicted of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act after two separate RSPCA investigations. Appearing at North Staffordshire Justice Centre at the beginning of the month, Ms Machin was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

In addition she was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and disqualified for life from keeping animals.

The RSPCA took Ms Machin to court after complaints regarding her pet shih tzu dog, Coco, and two horses. Coco was found to be painfully thin, with vets giving a body condition score of just one out of five. The dog was also found to have bladder stone that took up the entire of her bladder.

A month later the RSPCA investigated two emaciated ponies left in a field; both were given an extremely concerning 0.5 out of five for body condition.

“We weren’t sure if they were going to make it,” said RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin,  “Thankfully, all the animals recovered and can now go on to be rehomed.”

Machin denied the offences of causing unnecessary suffering (one with regard to Coco and two for the ponies), but was convicted on all counts.