Dog kept in one of the dirtiest houses seen by our inspector
A man who neglected his dog and failed to seek veterinary treatment for him was disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.
An aggressive greeting
As RSPCA Inspector Gemma Cooper walked towards the front door, she wondered if anyone even lived at the property; the front garden was extremely overgrown and the weeds were encroaching upon the front door. She went to the side door and opposite it saw a heavy metal bin. Attached to it was a rusty old chain which ran under the side door and into the house. She called out and eventually a man opened the door, looked at her uniform before telling her to “F*** off”. She looked down and saw Rex, a bearded collie cross type dog attached to the old rusty chain.
A terrible place for a dog to live
The house was a filthy, squalid dwelling. Being on the chain, Rex didn't have much room to move inside the house as there was little loose chain left. A plastic tub on the floor contained a little bit of water with rock salt in the bottom and another contained mouldy, old dried dog food.
Rex had an extremely matted and dirty coat. His fur was thin towards the back end revealing that his skin was crusty and sore and also that he was thin as his spine was visible. His nails were extremely overgrown and he smelt really bad. His head dipped and he looked very submissive as his owner stood over him. The man had owned Rex for over nine years.
Rex taken in for treatment
The man shouted at Gemma, using offensive language. She explained to him that Rex needed to see a vet. As she was doing so she noticed Rex was constantly scratching his face, neck and torso with his back legs.
A vet attended and confirmed Rex was in a suffering state. Police arrived and seized him, passing him into our care.
Scabs all over his body
Rex was taken to the vet’s surgery to be fully examined. The vet found there were large amounts of puss and blood inside his ears which were very painful. His fur was heavily matted by the huge amount of scabs on that had fallen off his body. Gemma commented she had never seen anything like it. There were so many scabs throughout his body that they were clogging his fur. As she ran her hand down Rex’s spine she could feel every vertebrae. Rex was fully shaved and this revealed the extent of the skin condition. He had open sores and scabs all over his body, from his head to the tip of his tail and down all four legs. There was an extremely sore patch underneath his neck which looked particularly painful.
The vet concluded Rex had suffered as a result of the man failing to address Rex’s chronic skin condition and ear infection. Rex weighed 15 kilogrammes and should have weighed approximately 20-25 kilogrammes.
Mans excuse didn't justify the pain Rex had gone through
Gemma commented that the man's house was one of the messiest and dirtiest she'd ever been in. A waist high mound of rubbish took up 80 percent of the living room. Despite receiving help from social services in the past the man had reverted back to these living conditions.
When interviewed the man revealed he knew of Rex’s condition and the need for veterinary attention. He said he didn't take Rex to a vet because they're greedy and that he didn't trust them. Rex endured a miserable existence at the hands of his owner because of this. The man showed no empathy towards the animal in his care and we considered there was a high risk of reoffending should Rex be returned to him.
The man commented if he got Rex back he would keep him in the coal bunker as this would be cold and soothing for his skin.
Rex feeling better
Rex improved considerably whilst in our care, both physically and mentally. Gemma visited Rex at a boarding facility and she was amazed by how much his skin had healed in just five days. Although he still had many scabs, they were dry and healing and he didn’t have the redness to the skin that he had before. He was scratching himself far less and was more confident in himself.
The man pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Rex at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ court. Magistrates disqualified him from keeping all animals for 10 years and ordered the deprivation of the dog allowing us to find Rex a loving new home. Rex has since been rehomed.
We had previously investigated the man over an alleged dog beating. It couldn't be proven and during the investigation, the man threw a bucket of water over our inspector.
Investigating Officer: RSPCA Inspector Gemma Cooper
Defendant: Male 70, retired
Offences: Animal Welfare Act 2006 S4
Sentence: Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years; £400 costs.
Prosecuted by: Martyn Prowel Solicitors