A Newbridge-on-Wye man has been banned from keeping animals for five years after his starving dog was discovered in an "emaciated" state by RSPCA inspectors.

On Wednesday, July 18, James Gray, Newbridge-on-Wye, was sentenced in Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

RSPCA inspectors had rescued the dog, called "Storm", from the rural location in December last year after the animal charity received a call about concerns for the dog’s welfare.

County Times: Storm the dog

The court heard four-year-old terrier was so hungry he ate a bowl of food in just eight seconds after being discovered in "skeletal" condition by the RSPCA.

On examination by a vet, the dog was found to be emaciated and is believed to have been suffering for at least two weeks.

As well as the five-year ban on keeping animals, 37-year-old Gray was also given a 12-month community order and was ordered to pay £300 costs.

Speaking after the case was heard, RSPCA Inspector Izzi Hignell said inspectors had been shocked to find the animal in such a neglected condition.

"Storm is a shaggy dog so it wasn’t immediately obvious that he was so skinny but as soon as I felt him I could feel every single vertebrae under his coat. He was a skeleton," she said.

"He was taken to a vet to be examined and while there, he was given a bowl of food. He was so hungry that he ate it in eight seconds.

"Storm was failed in every way,” said Inspector Hignell. “He was left on his own for long periods of time and he was not given regular food. He had been completely neglected.”

Since being in the RSPCA’s care, Storm has put on weight and is now looking healthy.

"He is a lovely dog and he is doing amazingly well now,” added Inspector Hignell.