Mum convicted of leaving her healthy huskies to starve

Croydon Guardian: Lorna Vince with three of her huskies Lorna Vince with three of her huskies

A husky-racing grandmother whose dogs starred in a Spice Girls music video has been convicted of animal cruelty.

Lorna Vince of Oakmead Road, Beddington, has been banned from owning pets for life after dumping her six emaciated huskies at her daughter's house on the same street on December 9, last year.

The 58-year-old had left the dogs without food or exercise, and the champion canines were so thirsty they tried to drink from a bucket of bleach.

Three of the dumped dogs, Kashmere, Koda, and Magic, had appeared in the video for Spice Girls hit Goodbye and on the album cover for electronic music duo Goldfrapp.

Vince a mother-of-four, used to race a team of 10 dogs in events organised by the British Siberian Racing Association.

She also used the dogs to raise money for the Little Treasures Children's Trust organising 'hug a husky' days and allowing people to be pictured with the dogs.

But Vince's daughter Chantal and estranged husband Arthur, who would deliver food to her house to help feed the dogs, were so horrified by the sight of the dogs they called the RSPCA, who came to collect them the following day.

The six dogs, that are named Shade, Coda, Magic, Cashmere, Manson and Red have now been re-homed.

Appearing at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Friday, Vince denied owning the dogs or leaving them with her daughter.

But she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, by failing to provide them with an adequately wholesome and nutritious diet.

Vince was banned from owning pets for life and was given a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to pay £500 in costs.

RSPCA Inspector Rebecca London said: "When I first saw the six dogs it was completely shocking. Compared to how fit and healthy huskies usually are, these dogs were almost like skeletons."

"This was a horrible case made worse because the owner was an experienced breeder and knew how to look after the dogs properly, but just did not do so."

In court Vince claimed the dogs were Chantal's, and was considering launching an appeal.

Speaking after the case, she said: "I am disgusted by what happened, I fought against the sort of thing for years. I didn't know what was going on until I saw the RSPCA lady.

"There is no way on earth I would starve dogs. I thought maybe in later years I could take on an old dog, it is like being in a nightmare."

Chantal Vince testified against her mum after the dogs were dumped on her doorstep last December.

The 41-year-old who lives three doors down from her mum said she was "flabbergasted" at the state of the dogs.

She said: "I couldn't recognise who was who. They were in need of urgent medical care and all I could think of was the RSPCA.

"They were ravenous, trying to get anything they could, but one was so lifeless I wasn't sure she would make it through the night."

Ms Vince said the family had struggled to come to terms with what had happened.

She said: "I still can't get my head around it, neither can my dad, it is all we have been talking about, trying to figure out what triggered it. We were buying the dogs food for her, but she never said anything.

"We had no idea, I just wish we had stepped in sooner."

Comments (2)

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8:26pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Michael Pantlin says...

This report raises more questions than provides answers on what was going on.
This report raises more questions than provides answers on what was going on. Michael Pantlin

9:36am Thu 1 Nov 12

sfocata says...

Banned from owning pets for life? Sounds like she didn't want to own the ones she had, so how is that a punishment?
Banned from owning pets for life? Sounds like she didn't want to own the ones she had, so how is that a punishment? sfocata

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