A woman from south London has been handed a five-year ban on owning dogs after she let her chocolate labradoodle starve to death, with the body of the dog just weighing 5.8kg at its time of death.

WARNING: Distressing image

Mercy Mujinya-Motima of Longley Road in Tooting, admitted to an animal welfare offence when she appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on February 27.

Mujinya-Motima brought Shiloh's lifeless body to the Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria on October 23, 2023.

She initially claimed that her chocolate labradoodle had been involved in a car accident the previous evening.

The vets found inconsistencies in her story and on closer examination, it became apparent that Shiloh's condition was severe, and her injuries were inconsistent with the owner’s version of events.

The vets discovered that Shiloh, at just 5.8kg, was severely emaciated, suggesting that she had been neglected over a long stretch of time.

It was determined that Shiloh's cause of death was due to severe malnourishment that she had suffered for the six months leading up to her death and vets gave her a body condition a score of 1/9.

Despite the dog appearing severely starved, vets found it odd that her fur appeared well groomed and her nails were clipped.

Wandsworth Times: Mujinya-Motima brought Shiloh's lifeless body to the Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria on October 23, 2023.Mujinya-Motima brought Shiloh's lifeless body to the Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria on October 23, 2023. (Image: RSCPA)

RSPCA inspector Harriet Daliday investigated for the animal welfare charity said: “I was shocked at what ease the body was removed from the storage given the breed of dog. I could easily lift the dog with one hand.

“I was informed that the dog only weighed 5.8kg at the time she was brought in. Shiloh was extremely underweight with all ribs, hips and spine sharp and easily felt. The shape of her skull and the indentation above the eye sockets were easily felt.

“There was absolutely no fat or muscle on her body. Her eyes were sunken in and had a gunky discharge surrounding them.

“She had a small open wound on her left hind leg and what looked to be like pressure sores on her thighs.”

“I found it surprising that whilst being in this poor condition, Shiloh’s coat appeared to be well maintained. It was clean and looked like it had been fairly freshly groomed.

“The nails were trimmed far back and had been cut as opposed to being naturally short.”

Shiloh had never received medical attention since being eight-weeks-old and Mujinya-Motima had only registered her with a veterinary practice a mere five days prior to her death.

A defence solicitor said in court that Mujinya-Motima was “remorseful and distressed” and “had no plans to keep a dog in the future”.

She had paid over £400 for the dog and had voluntarily surrendered the dog’s body to the vet.

Inspector Daliday also contacted the registered owner on the dog’s chip - who was the breeder of the labradoodle - and noted: “She advised she had a litter of labradoodle puppies last July which she sold at nine weeks old.

“This one by the name of “Pink Collar” was sold to a lady and her daughter. She said she would be able to find the contact details if I needed them.

“I advised the dog was sadly deceased and this was now being investigated. The breeder was shocked and upset that this had happened to one of her puppies.”

Mujinya-Motima was sentenced to a five-year ban on owning dogs, £400 costs, a 12 month community order including a 12 week curfew and an electronic tag.