A CAt and dog were left to starve to death and their bodies hidden in a cupboard under the stairs, a court heard.
Jamie Birtwistle stored the ‘carcasses’ of food-starved Staffordshire Bull terrier type dog ‘Bella’ and domestic shorthaired cat ‘Storm’ after he found them both dead on a sofa and chair.
But when new tenants arrived at Birtwistle’s home on Belfield Road in Accrington as he was moving out, he told them not to go in the cupboard under the stairs’.
Chris Wyatt, prosecuting, on behalf of the RSPCA, told Burnley Magistrates Court the woman and her partner ignored the warning and contacted the RSPCA and police after finding the dead animals.
When Birtwistle was later interviewed by inspectors he said he had Bella for 10 months and Storm for 12 months and that they were initially in ‘good health’.
The court heard how Birtwistle had recently split from his partner and was ‘struggling to sort his own head out’.
Mr Wyatt said Birtwistle admitted to not feeding the animals enough and only doing it ‘every other day’.
He told the court that Birtwistle ‘could tell they were losing weight’ and came home to find the dog dead on a sofa and on another occasion the cat dead on a chair.
The prosecutor said that ‘curiously’ the new tenants found 30 portions of cat food and a tin of dog food in the property and it’s ‘rather strange that this should happen’.
Birtwistle, 31, and now of Nuttall Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to not taking steps to ensure the needs of an animal by failing to ensure they received an adequate diet. He will be sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates Court on October 6.
Laura Haywood, defending, said it was a ‘very sad set of circumstances’.
She told the court: “The defendant never set out to intentionally cause harm to these animals.
"The issue seems to be when his girlfriend moved out of the premises.
"He does have mental health issues and has been to his doctor who has referred him to The Mount in Accrington.
“He is also on medication. He describes himself as hearing voices.
“He does understand the reason why they died and that’s due to him failing to feed them. He understands that he should have sought help.”
Miss Haywood said Birtwistle ‘had monetary issues at the time’ and is in receipt of benefits.