Rugby couple's cat died of a perforated ulcer after they failed to have him treated - so they put him in their freezer

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A Rugby couple have been banned from keeping animals for seven years after a court heard how they failed to get their cat vital treatment - leaving it to die of a perforated stomach ulcer.

21-year-old Tina Coles and 39-year-old Martin Hessey, both of Blackman Way, together pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their cat when they appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday September 6.

The court heard how three-year-old cat Tigger had developed a stomach ulcer but the couple failed to take him for treatment, with the ulcer perforating and killing Tigger weeks later.

A member of the public reported the cat’s death to the RSPCA and inspector Helen Smith was sent to investigate on June 1.

She found Tigger’s emaciated body in a freezer at the couple’s flat. Tigger weighed just 1.47kg when a cat of his aged should weigh 4 to 4.5kg.

Inspector Smith said: “It would have been blatantly obvious that Tigger was in need of veterinary treatment but the couple failed to act.

“The stomach ulcer would have led to an obvious lack of appetite which is why Tigger was so emaciated.

“The vet said he would have suffered for at least a month and his death would have been slow and painful.

“This case really highlights how imperative if it for owners to take their pets for veterinary treatment if they show symptoms of illness. Poor Tigger was left to suffer unnecessarily.”

Both Coles and Hessey were banned from keeping all animals for seven years, fined £120 and also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

In mitigation the court was told both had mental health issues which the magistrates took into account when sentencing.