Dog owner Alan Smith has been jailed after allowing his pet bull mastiff Sam to starve to death in filthy conditions. Abandoned and surrounded by faeces, the other dog found in the house only survived by eating the rotting flesh of the other animal.
The dogs were discovered after bailiffs visited the house to serve an eviction notice, reports the Shields Gazette.
Inside the flat in Hebburn, South Tyneside, the floor was encrusted with dirt, waste littered the furniture and the corpse of a dog lay rotting in the doorway.
While the carcass of an emaciated bull mastiff was found by the officials, another severely undernourished dog immediately ran out to go drink water from the toilet.
Half the face of the dead dog was missing, as the other pet, a Staffordshire bull terrier called Lily, had been feeding on her mate to survive.
After RSPCA vets performed a post mortem of the dog, they were able to ascertain that the canine had not had any food or water for around a month.
Smith, 30, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Appearing via videolink from prison, he was given 17 weeks to run alongside his existing sentence (he will serve no extra time for the offence) and has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.
He was not charged with any cruelty to Lily as he said that that dog belonged to his girlfriend.
RSPCA inspector Claire Hunt said: "This was an extremely shocking case that upset everyone who dealt with it."
"This dog died an awful death, deprived of the most basic of things, food and water, for up to a month. The fact that the other dog survived such a horrendous ordeal is a miracle.
"The room they were in was covered in faeces and urine, beer cans and other rubbish and there was a chewed up sofa. She was literally living off the flesh of her mate. When the bailiffs opened the door she shot out of the room and started to drink from the toilet.
"Happily, she is now with new owners and having the kind of life she always deserved."