Kent couple banned from keeping pets forever after leaving tiny terrier dog chained up outside in winter

David Harding
Frances the terrier chained up outside (RSPCA)

A vile couple who left their dog to freeze tethered to a chain outside in winter have been banned from keeping animals for the rest of their lives.

David William Lee, 51, and Lydia Ann Lee, 54, left their terrier, Frances, chained up outside in the middle of winter covered in her own poo.

The RSPCA have described the ill-treatment as ‘a very nasty case’ of animal cruelty.


The pair from Whitstable, Kent, were charged with causing unnecessary suffering by failing to investigate and address the cause of the pet’s plight.

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RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport visited their home in January  over allegations the pair were trapping birds.

‘It was a very upsetting scene,’ he said. ‘Whilst there I found the little dog frozen to the floor of the kennel as the chain was frozen fast.

‘This was a very nasty case of a deliberate act of long term cruelty as the trapping of birds is a planned act, and this was coupled with the long term neglect of the pitiful little dog that I found in filthy, wet and frozen conditions.

“‘t was a very upsetting and unnecessary case of deliberate, planned and callous cruelty.’

Mr Lee was also charged with possession of live wild birds – 12 goldfinches and a redpoll – as well as intentionally taking wild birds and possessing traps.

The incident took place in the popular resort of Whitstable (Rex)

At Folkestone Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Mr Lee was sentenced to 18 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, and an 18-week curfew.

He was also ordered to pay £750 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Mrs Lee was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, and a 12-week curfew.

She was also ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

They were also both disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Miraculously, the dog survived. Frances was treated for mange and malnourishment before being re-homed.