A MAN whose two dogs became so fat they couldn’t walk after being fed cheese and rice pudding for three years has been banned from keeping animals.

Martin Harrison, 58, allowed Staffordshire bull terriers Brucie and Lucy to become so overweight they were ‘barrel-shaped’ and buckled under their sheer size.

Although he blamed his late mother for over-feeding the two dogs, he confessed to occasionally spoiling them with ‘cakes and doggy treats’.

The dogs were ‘panting heavily’ after being seized by RSPCA inspectors.

During the time Harrison owned the dogs, Brucie’s weight ballooned from a healthy 46lbs to 82lbs. Lucy’s weight increased to 75lbs and she had a chronic ear condition which was not treated.

Since they were seized in March last year the animals were put on a diet.

Both dogs have now been permanently confiscated from Harrison, who lives in Belvedere Road, Christchurch, after a hearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court.

Harrison was also fined and has been disqualified from owning or keeping animals for two years.

Jeremy Lake, prosecuting, said: “Both dogs were grossly obese and barrel-like when they were seized.

“Brucie was panting constantly and laying down in the consulting room. He had fatty deposits around his neck and back.

“Lucy was also overweight and she had a chronic ear disease caused over a long time.”

Harrison, who lived with his mother, bought Brucie and Lucy on Gumtree in November 2014.

The defendant represented himself in court. He said his late mother, who had Alzheimer’s, would feed the dogs fatty food, despite him repeatedly asking her not to.

He said he could not afford to take Lucy to the vets for a period of time, and blamed former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith for stopping his benefits.

“My dogs are my children. I miss them like crazy and I just want them back. I’ve got no one else,” he said.

“Any missed vet appointments can be blamed on Iain Duncan Smith. My benefits were stopped and I had no money.”

Harrison was convicted of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to his pets and one of failing to provide veterinary care.

He was fined £150, given a £30 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £100 in costs.