A woman has been banned from keeping animals for life after her dying dog was found in the worst state an RSPCA inspector has seen in her 17 year career.
Sally Wilkinson, 32, of Oxford Street, Blackwell, Alfreton, pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences when she appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 12.
The court heard how her emaciated Rottweiler dog, called Chunk, was so thin and had a chronic skin condition it was difficult to establish her breed.
She was just half the weight she should have been, according to the RSPCA, at only 23.4kg when she should have been 42kg and she had an untreated skin condition which left her with no hair apart from around her paws and some on her back.
RSPCA inspector Helen Mead, who was sent to investigate, said it was the worst case of dog neglect she had seen in her 17-year career.
She told how she went to Wilkinson’s home on September 4 after the animal welfare charity received a call from a concerned member of the public.
Insp Mead said: “I smelt the dog’s chronic skin condition when I went into the house, even though she was in another room. Then when I saw Chunk I was horrified as she was in an appalling state.
“She was elderly and emaciated with bones protruding and she had almost no hair due to the chronic skin condition which had been left untreated.
“The skin was crusted, scabby, bleeding and thickened and she was covered in fleas. She had sunken eyes with pus around them. I just knew instantly she was in a bad way and must have been suffering enormously.”
Insp Mead was given consent to take Chunk to a veterinary surgeon who decided the kindest thing to do would be to put her to sleep.
The vet stated that Chunk, aged 14, would have suffered horrendously for a period of time, suffering from malnutrition for at least two months and from the chronic skin condition for at least four months.
The judge in his summing up stated it was “sustained, systemic neglect” and added “it beggars belief it was allowed to deteriorate to this point”.
Inspector Mead said: “The photographs show Chunk was in such an appalling state.
“I was so upset that things had got so bad there was nothing that could be done to help her other than end her suffering.
“I am in no doubt that this dog’s horrendous suffering could have been avoided if she was taken to a vet and treated when any problems first arose - it should never have got to this situation.”
Wilkinson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to address the dog’s weight loss between July and September, 2018.
She also admitted causing unnecessary suffering by failing to ensure the dog received veterinary care for a skin condition between May and September, 2018.
As well as the lifetime ban on keeping animals Wilkinson was also given an eight-week jail sentence suspended for two years.
She was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £75 victim surcharge.