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Touching story behind photographs of starving dog named Delilah

The owner of a starved and emaciated dog named Delilah has been banned from keeping pets for three years.

The Staffordshire bull terrier, also known as a English Staffy, was rescued from a Brisbane home in May last year after concerned neighbours called RSPCA.

Confronting images taken by animal inspectors showed the dog’s ribs, spine and hip bones sticking out from its body. 

Owner Shaye Wallace O’Neill, 26, admitted to failing to feed and provide proper living conditions for the dog in Holland Park Magistrates Court on Friday. 

Delilah the Staffordshire bull terrier (pictured) was rescued from a Brisbane property in May of 2019 after being found so starved her ribs, spine and hip bones were exposed

Delilah the Staffordshire bull terrier (pictured) was rescued from a Brisbane property in May of 2019 after being found so starved her ribs, spine and hip bones were exposed

Neighbours had reported her condition to the RSPCA who immediately sent inspectors to check on the dog (pictured) but after finding her in an emaciated state they decided to seize her

Neighbours had reported her condition to the RSPCA who immediately sent inspectors to check on the dog (pictured) but after finding her in an emaciated state they decided to seize her 

When inspectors rescued the dog after finding it in an overgrown yard it weighed just 11.25 kilograms – less than half the ideal weight for an English Staffy its age.    

Witnesses said they’d seen Delilah for over a year despite claims from O’Neill she’d only had her for a couple of weeks before the seizure, the Courier Mail reported.

When questioned about Delilah being left alone for long stretches, O’Neill said she’d asked a friend to look after her while she was away for work.  

After her rescue, the RSPCA said Delilah would snatch food, eat excessively and was very anxious.  

Delilah was so malnourished her spine, hips and ribs were all clearly visible through her skin (pictured)

Delilah was so malnourished her spine, hips and ribs were all clearly visible through her skin (pictured)

However Delilah was able to gain four kilograms in one week while specialist staff helped adjust the dog’s learned behaviour. 

Within a month of her rescue Delilah’s weight had ballooned out to 19.6kg and she was getting close to peak physical condition. 

Delilah was adopted by a new family in Morningside in September last year.  

O’Neill was ordered to pay $1,000 to the RSPCA, $411 in legal costs and banned from owning another animal for the next three years.

Amazingly Delilah (pictured) recovered within months and by September of 2019 she had been adopted by a loving family in Morningside

Amazingly Delilah (pictured) recovered within months and by September of 2019 she had been adopted by a loving family in Morningside

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