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A man who was grieving the death of his girlfriend and left their two boxer dogs to starve to death has avoided jail.

Stephen New neglected Bruno, two, and 18-month-old Ruby for nearly a week leaving a stench of “rotting dead bodies” in his home.

RSPCA officers were called to the home in Maltby, South Yorks, on July 14 after police became concerned about the welfare of animals when they spotted flies at the windows.

When they entered the property they found the lifeless bodies of the two dogs curled up together in the crate.

Vets believed the dogs had been left for up to five days with only a bowl of water and food, and felt New, 34, saw them getting weaker and thinner but still didn’t take action.

The poor pooches were so decomposed by the time officers arrived at the scene, they were unable to conduct a post-mortem exam.

The Boxer dogs were found lifeless by the RSPCA [file pic]
(Image: Getty Images/EyeEm)

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They concluded the dogs had tragically died due to a lack of food and water, and would have suffered greatly.

New pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to two boxer dogs at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

He was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £400 in costs.

He was also banned from keeping all animals for life.

RSPCA inspector Vanessa Reid, who was at the horrific scene, said: “I arrived to find police officers had already been granted access by the owner to find the dead bodies of two boxers in a crate in the kitchen.

“When I entered the house I could immediately smell a strong aroma that I know to be the smell of rotting dead bodies.

The dogs had been left to starve with bags of food nearby [file pic]
(Image: Getty Images)

“The house was quite dark with all blinds closed, and had very little furniture inside. I had walked past several bags of dog food, some opened, some full and sealed, along with other dog items such as toys and leads.

“The kitchen was cluttered and grimy. On the side, there was a jar full of dog chews, a large bowl full of dog food, and a smaller bowl containing a small amount of food and some faeces.

“In the centre of the kitchen was a large training crate containing the remains of two dogs.

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“They were laid together, tucked up beside a bowl which was on its side. I’m not sure whether it was a food or water bowl but it had been licked clean.

“There was a layer of thick faeces in and surrounding the cage. I tried to move the bodies, which had begun to decompose, and saw there were maggots present.”

The court heard that New had struggled to cope after the death of his girlfriend and shut everything out, including the dogs who he failed to care for during this time.

He fully accepted his responsibility for the dogs’ deaths.

Inspector Reid added: “These poor dogs were left to starve to death inside a cage – with jars full of dog treats and open bags of food just metres away.

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“New was solely responsible for those dogs and allowed them to die slowly in front of him.

“But it was clear to me that he was also suffering himself.

"When I spoke to him, he was visibly emotional and said he was sorry.”