A solicitor who locked her pet dog in a kitchen and left it to starve to death has been jailed for 18 weeks.
Katy Gammon, 27, moved out of her home leaving five-year-old Roxy trapped inside without food or water.
The boxer dog’s remains were not discovered until 10 weeks later, when neighbours reported flies around the house.
Rod Mayall, chair of the bench, told Gammon: “This is the most serious incident of animal cruelty that we have encountered in these courts.
“This was prolonged neglect of a dog where she was locked in a house and left to die of starvation and dehydration.
“You have shown limited remorse. Although you were somewhat depressed, you failed to take up at least two offers of alternative housing for the dog. You failed to act as any normal person would.”
A post-mortem examination found the animal was likely to have suffered a “prolonged and painful” death over a six-day period at the house in Bristol.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Lindi Meyer said Gammon had acquired Roxy while living with her boyfriend, Adam Taylor, in December 2012.
The couple separated in April 2013 and Gammon kept Roxy, leaving her home alone during the day while she went to work.
Initially, the boxer had the run of the house but Gammon later decided to lock her in the kitchen as she would urinate and defecate inside.
In August 2013, Gammon began staying with her mother who lived a few streets away.
She returned each morning to feed Roxy but only walked her three times a week, otherwise leaving the dog confined to the kitchen.
However, in late August, Gammon dislocated her knee and did not visit the property for a week – meaning Roxy was completely unattended.
Ms Meyer said: “When anyone asked about Roxy, she lied and said her ex-boyfriend was looking after her.”
A post-mortem examination carried out by an RSPCA vet found: “Roxy suffered the distress and discomfort of a gradual death. This suffering was entirely avoidable and unnecessary.”
The court heard Roxy would have experienced abdominal pain, muscle spasms, blindness, an irregular heart rhythm and kidney failure before death.
In interview, Gammon claimed she had tried to get rid of Roxy by posting messages on Facebook but did not have any takers.
Gammon told RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson she last attended to Roxy at the house on August 30.
However, she did not return – leaving Roxy without food or water – until a week later, on September 6, when she found an “awful smell”.
“I didn’t go into the house, I assumed she was dead,” Gammon told the inspector. “I never went back. I don’t know what you want me to say. I can’t change it. It’s horrific.”
In a victim impact statement, Mr Taylor said he had felt “physically sick” after seeing photographs of Roxy’s remains in the kitchen.
“Roxy was mistreated by her previous owner. She used to panic if she was left alone and would become distressed,” he told the court.
“I don’t understand why Katy did this. She had so many friends and family who would have taken Roxy and would have helped her.”
After Gammon admitted the crimes, a petition was started by animal lovers calling for her to be jailed.
The petition, named Justice For Roxy, collected 100,494 signatures from across the country.
Her solicitor Farah Rasid said her client had been “hounded” by campaigners.
Gammon had been training as a solicitor and was awaiting her first post when Roxy was discovered – ending her career.
Ms Rasid said: “She is a young lady who is a prisoner in her own home. She is a young lady who has lost a career she was waiting to start. She is her own critic of herself.”
Gammon, of Bristol, wept in the dock during an appearance at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on March 19.
She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and failing to prevent causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between August and November 2013. She returned to the court to be sentenced yesterday.
Gammon remained emotionless as she was led to the cells.