A shocked RSPCA officer described a pet dog’s condition as ‘heartbreaking’ when it was found almost completely bald and bleeding.
Jack the friendly Jack Russell was left in a ‘terrible state’ by his owner Lucy Jo Dudley, as a debilitating skin condition caused his skin to peel away in places.
Dudley, 39, has been banned from keeping dogs for five years after she admitted to causing suffering to the tiny animal.
Blackpool magistrates heard how RSPCA officers found the dog almost completely bald and bleeding for pores all over its body when they visited Dudley’s home at Gamble Road, Thornton.
RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws said: “Poor Jack was in a terrible state when I first walked in to that house. His skin condition was so bad it was coming off in places – it was sore, cracked and bleeding.”
Presiding magistrate Brian Nicholson told Dudley: “Your dog was quite frankly in an appalling condition. The photographs we were shown were terrible.
“It must have been suffering on a daily basis.”
Johnathon Fail, prosecution for the animal charity, said RSPCA officers sent into Dudley’s home found three caged rats in one room and the dog trapped behind a baby gate in another.
He said: “The dog clearly had substantial hair loss and was almost bald. It was also suffering from bleeding sores and pustules.
“It had a bacterial infection of the skin.”
The court heard how Dudley had financial problems and had tried to treat the dog at home with natural remedies, which appeared to work at first, but the infection remained.
The dog was taken into care by the RSPCA and its condition improved after it was treated by a vet.
Mr Keogh-Laws added: “It was heartbreaking that such a lovely little dog was in so much pain. Thankfully he is now doing much better. He will soon be finishing his vet treatment and will be looking for his forever home soon. Jack is so friendly and loving. He will make some one such a lovely pet.”
Sue Mugford, defending, said: “She was not aware of help which could be made available from charities. Her home remedies did not work in the end. She had not got enough money to pay for a vet.”
Dudley was given a one year community order with a 15 day rehabilitation requirement. She must also pay £300 in court costs and a £60 victims surcharge.
Animal expert Mandy Leigh, owner of Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in St Annes, said: “I don’t think a five-year ban is long enough, to be honest. I think people are too lenient on people who are cruel to animals.
“What’s five years? That means they can go out and get another dog eventually.
“You get a lot of people who don’t realise the suffering they are causing to an animal, or they just don’t care.
“Help is always just a phonecall away, from the RSPCA or sanctuaries like Easterleigh.
“There’s always somebody out there who will help them. I’ve got no sympathy for people who neglect their pets, unless of course they’ve got serious health problems and are also struggling to look after themselves.
“Clearly this poor dog was allowed to get into a terrible state. There’s just no excuse.”