A COUPLE have been banned from keeping animals for seven years, after they left their pets to suffer from untreated eye and dental problems.

Jacqueline Christine Portingale and Peter Sidney Portingale, who lived in Axbridge, Somerset, at the time of the offences, were sentenced at North Somerset Magistrates Court on December 15.

The couple, who now live in Oxford Road, Fegg Hayes, Stoke on Trent, were found guilty of animal welfare offences after prosecution by the RSPCA.

An inspector from the charity attended the couple's home in May 2019, after concerns were raised about the welfare of the animals.

Two King Charles Spaniels has untreated eye issues and two cats had dental diseases, matted fur and overgrown claws.

Somerset County Gazette: Dental decay. Pic: RSPCA

A dog called Jack had to be put to sleep as he had a large corneal ulcer of the left eye which had ruptured, problems with his right eye, a severe heart murmur and an infected tooth.

As well as the seven year disqualification, the couple were also sentenced to 16 weeks curfew and had to pay £425 in court costs.

Somerset County Gazette: Untreated eye issues. Pic: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel said: “Judge Leyton stated that it was clear that both defendants were responsible for the animals and that the animals had suffered due to their gross failure to address the animals conditions.

“The dental conditions had been present for a considerable period, many months and the matting and dental disease in the cats would have been evident.

"As a pet owner you have a responsibility to be proactive and take such steps as are necessary to ensure your animals welfare.”

Somerset County Gazette: Overgrown claws. Pic: RSPCA

Veterinary experts said the owners should have sought advice from the vets, which would have reduces the suffering of the animals.

The dogs and cats involved have now found new homes.