A COUPLE who neglected their Staffordshire bull terrier have been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Mark Haron, 31, from Oatleys Terrace in Ledbury, pleaded guilty to a failing to ensure animal welfare for an animal he was responsible for.

Anne-Marie Haron, 27, also of Oatleys Terrace, admitted the same offence.

They both appeared before Worcester Magistrates Court this week.

The ban comes after two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Zeus, was handed in to the vets by a family member of the couple, who claimed he had found the dog as a stray.

The truth was revealed following a successful social media appeal, launched to try and track down the owner of the dog.

Speaking after sentencing, Suzi Smith, the investigating officer for the RSPCA, said: "Following the social media appeal, witnesses came forward and identified the Harons as the owners.

"From there I was able to begin an investigation which has led to justice for Zeus in court.

“When Zeus was handed in, he was found to be underweight but has made an excellent recovery with just the provision of an adequate and suitable diet.

“As you can see from photographs, there is a huge difference in his condition. He's thriving under the care of Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue.

Both were sentenced to a five-year disqualification order on all animals, and ordered to pay £50 each towards costs.

Edmund Middleton, defending, said the vet in the case stated that, aside from poor body condition, 'the dog was clinically well.'

"No evidence was served that suggested the dog was in any pain or subject to any suffering as a result of poor body condition," added Mr Middleton.