A cruel owner has been banned from keeping animals after starving his dog so much it ate half its own TAIL.
Jerome Starkey, 21, left four-year-old brindle Staffordshire bull terrier Gunner weak, flea ridden and lame.
The pooch was so hungry he gnawed off flesh from his own tail to survive – leaving half of it chewed down to the bone.
RSCPA officers were alerted to the poor pet in January and found him covered in his own blood when they entered Starkey’s home in Ashford, Kent.
The dog was rushed to a vets but was so emaciated he had to be put down to end his suffering.
Starkey was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and banned from keeping animals for 10 years by magistrates at Canterbury, Kent.
He was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and do 280 hours of unpaid work.
RSPCA inspector Caroline Doe said: “We walked in to find blood all over the floor and the poor dog standing there on three legs as he was completely lame on his rear right leg.
“Gunner was emaciated, covered with fleas and had chewed off most of his tail.
“It was outright awful – chewed right down to the bone and he must have been in so much pain.
“There were behavioural issues, which may have caused him to do this, but mainly I think he was driven to distraction by the fleas and had just nibbled and nibbled away until half the tail was missing.
“So much suffering had been caused, and the owner admitted it had been going on for quite some time with no veterinary treatment being sought.”