Owner ignored RSPCA advice to take her dog to the vet to treat multiple skin conditions
A woman who failed to seek vet treatment for her dog's skin conditions has been disqualified from keeping animals for life after a prosecution by the RSPCA.
The defendant pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to Beau, a Lhasa Apso-type dog, when she appeared at the magistrates' court.
Beau's coat was heavily matted and flea-infested and he was suffering from alopecia and conjunctivitis. Most of his skin across his trunk and limbs was red and inflamed and it was so painful that an RSPCA inspector observed him licking and biting at himself constantly. His nails were also overgrown on all four of his feet.
The court was told that RSPCA inspectors made numerous visits to the defendant's home between August and October last year when they advised her to take the dog to the vet. The defendant claimed she had done, but the charity could find no evidence to back up her claims.
The defendant eventually agreed to allow RSPCA inspector Kris Walker to take Beau to the vet, where the dog's hair and nails were trimmed and he was treated with anti-parasites, eye drops, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories.
Sadly, a later examination of Beau's mouth revealed a separate issue with a tumour that had spread through his jawbone, so it was decided the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep to end his suffering.
RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor, in her witness statement, said that when she visited the defendant's home last year following a report, the defendant claimed Beau "had died two weeks ago and that he was buried in the back garden".
But in a telephone conversation with the inspector later that day she said he was still alive, although it was not for another 12 days before RSPCA inspector Kris Walker was able to check on Beau's condition.
He advised her to seek veterinary attention and clean up the yard which was full of faeces.
The court heard how when the inspector returned, the defendant claimed she had taken Beau to Vets4Pets. There was no record of the visit and he asked her again to get veterinary treatment as the dog needed dematting and treatment for fleas.
A vet who examined the dog said:
The front of Beau's chest was completely alopecic. He had numerous patches of alopecia over his dorsum and the majority of skin across his trunk and limbs was reddened and inflamed.
He concluded the dog would have been suffering for "at least some days and weeks" before he examined him.
In mitigation, the defendant said she was remorseful and that at the time she "had had a lot going on".
As well as the ban, magistrates' told the defendant to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and undertake 10 rehabilitation activity days as part of a 12-month community order. She also has to pay a victim surcharge of £95 and court costs of £600.
After the hearing, RSPCA Inspector Kris Walker said:
We gave the defendant advice and she had multiple chances to take her dog to see a vet. She wasn't frank with us and claimed she had done this when she hadn't.
In the meantime, Beau was left in a dreadful state, matted and suffering from sore skin, alopecia and eye issues.
He was signed over into our care, but sadly a tumour was found in his jawbone and the kindest course of action was to put him to sleep to end his suffering.