A woman from Orpington has been banned from keeping pets for five years after she repeatedly left her dogs alone for up to four days. 

Chelsea Jade Ellis, 27, of Burrfield Drive, appeared in court for causing unnecessary suffering to her dogs Rolo, a chihuahua, and Sleigh, a cross breed. 

The dogs were left on their own for days at a time with empty food and water bowls, RSPCA prosecutor Andrew Wiles said. 

When the dogs were eventually confiscated, Rolo’s body condition was rated at one out of nine - the lowest score possible - as he was extremely thin, while Sleigh was assessed as two out of nine. 

Mr Wiles said: “Following information received by the RSPCA of dogs being left alone at Ms Ellis’ property an attendance was made on October 15. Dogs were heard there but nobody was present. 

“Ms Ellis was spoken to one the phone, she said she did go out for long periods but she would be back that evening.” 
News Shopper: Sleigh was very thin when she was taken to the vets after being seized from EllisSleigh was very thin when she was taken to the vets after being seized from Ellis (Image: Newsquest)

The RSPCA officer put a seal on the door to see when it was opened. When they returned the following day the seal was still intact, indicating that Ellis had not been home. 

“The RSPCA officer attending was able to look inside the property through the window and there were two dogs but there was no food or water for them. Four dog bowls were on the floor but they were all empty,” Mr Wiles said. 

“The officer put dog biscuits through an open window. The dogs rushed to the biscuit and ate them quite ferociously.” 

On October 30 officers attended again. They found nobody at home and no food was seen through the window, the court heard. 

The officer spoke to Ellis on the phone to tell her that arrangements needed to made for the dogs to be cared for. 

The seals were unbroken when they were checked again on November 1 and November 2, and there was still no food for the dogs. 

Police attended on November 2 and the dogs were seized and taken into RSPCA care. 

A vet noted that both dogs were extremely thin and estimated that they had been suffering due to malnutrition, weight loss and general poor condition for two to three months. 

When interviewed about the dogs Ellis repeatedly changed her story. 

In her first interview she admitted that she was responsible for the two dogs and that nobody was looking after the dogs between October 30 and November 2. She said that four days was the longest they had been left alone. 

She later phoned the RSPCA inspector and said she lied in the interview, and that Sleigh actually belonged to a friend called Danielle. She said she had been looking after Sleigh for a while and her mum had been feeding the dogs while she was away. 

Ellis was subsequently invited to another interview, during which she confessed that she had lied again. She said Danielle was not real and that she had just been in “a real state” as her children had been taken into care. 

On Thursday (June 22) at Bexley Magistrates’ Court Ellis’ solicitor said she was suffering enormous stress at the time of these offences. 

News Shopper: Ellis leaving Bexley Magistrates' Court after being banned for keeping pets for five yearsEllis leaving Bexley Magistrates' Court after being banned for keeping pets for five years (Image: Newsquest)

A magistrate decided that Ellis should be banned from keeping pets for five years, but that she can apply to have this set aside in three years. 

She was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £1,000 in costs to the RSPCA. 

Ellis did not relinquish Rolo and Sleigh to the RSPCA voluntarily, so while they have been looked after by the RSPCA since November they have not been rehomed. 

However, the court granted a deprivation order meaning the dogs no longer belong to her and can find loving new homes. 

Since coming into RSPCA care Rolo’s weight has increased by 60%, while Sleigh’s weight has increased by 28%.