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A SOUTHEND couple have admitted causing unnecessary suffering to their two dogs.

Max and Lola, two American bulldogs, were kept in barren cages in a garage with no bedding or water and very little food.

They were found by the RSPCA in such a severely emaciated and malnourished state that Max has been left with a malformation in his back legs.

Their owners, Dean, 46, and Linda Anthony, 29, both of Alton Gardens, pleaded guilty to offences under the Anomal Welfare Act at Southend Magistrates’ Court last week.

The pair was banned from keeping all animals, except cats, for ten years and made to pay costs of £510 and sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work.

The RSPCA was called in December 2013 after concern for the dogs.

RSPCA inspector Matt Gough said: “This was a case of extremely serious neglect and the vet said the dogs had been suffering for at least a month. “They had just not been given the food they needed to grow and develop normally, and were in a terrible state.

“Poor Max was a bag of bones and could not even stretch out or use his rear. “I think they had been given just minimal food topped up with human scraps.”

The dogs were allegedly kept in the cages because they chewed on household items, and deprived water as they kept knocking it over.

Both were underweight with a high worm burden, while Max had a cracked tooth, sores on his legs and hip dysplasia – a malformation caused by malnutrition.

Anyone who would like to rehome either Max, Lola, or both, should contact the Southend branch of the RSPCA on 07749175023.