A HUDDERSFIELD woman who let her cancer-ridden dog suffer in pain has been banned from keeping animals for five years.
Sarah Kelly, 25, failed to take the animal, a nine-year-old black and tan Rottweiler named Ben (pictured), to a vet despite clear symptoms showing he was unwell.
Kelly, of Norris Close, Almondbury, appeared at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by failing to provide it with proper veterinary care and attention for its liver disease between November 30 and December 05 last year.
The court heard that the RSPCA Inspector Nicky Foster first visited Kelly’s address on November 9 after receiving a call reporting a dog in poor health living there.
There was no one at the premises, but Insp Foster found two dogs, Ben and a tan and white Bulldog, loose in the garden.
She saw that Ben was in a poor state and had sunken eyes. She said there was a strong smell of faeces and that both dogs smelt pungent.
Insp Foster returned later and spoke to Kelly, and was told that the dog was suffering from cancer but had been seen by the PDSA for its condition.
The RSPCA officer contacted the veterinary charity but it said it has only seen Ben for a skin disorder and had no record of the cancer.
Insp Foster contacted Kelly again, who asked for the animal to be taken away from her because she could no longer cope.
Tanya Forret, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Ben was examined by vet Sally Lee at Hird & Partners veterinary practice in Halifax.
She said: “The dog weighed 33.6kg and was in a poor bodily condition. His coat was not well kept and his abdomen was empty.
“The animal had to be put to sleep because it could not be re-homed due to its aggressive nature.”
A post-mortem on Ben revealed that he was in an emaciated state, as his stomach was filled with mucus and grass and his intestines were empty.
Miss Forret added: “The vet concluded that the dog’s poor condition was due to its liver disease.
“She said he would have shown clear signs of illness, such as nausea and weakness, which would have been obvious that he should have gone to the vets.”
“The vet said that due to the dog’s poor condition he must have been ill for some time and would have been suffering.”
The court heard Ben belonged to her ex-partner Nasir Ahmed, who had left him with Kelly because he was homeless.
Bob Carr, defending, said: “This is a case of omission rather than co-mission. She was left with this dog by a former boyfriend, she had no desire to keep that dog, (it was) a vicious Rottweiler.
“When it became clear that the dog was suffering from a skin condition disease, she took it to the vet.
“She could not understand why the dog was loosing weight, but she tried to look after it as best she could.
“When it came to the time when the dog ought to have been put down, she couldn’t take the dog to the vet. The taxi firm refused to let the dog into the taxi and you’re not allowed to take dogs on public transport.
“She found herself in a catch-22 situation. Her health has suffered as a direct result of this process.
“There was never any suggestion that she was cruel to animals, she has spent a large proportion of her life looking after animals.
“This was an unusual situation, this dog was thrust upon her and it became ill through no fault of her own.”
Mr Carr admitted that his client failed to seek medical help for Ben at the earliest opportunity.
Magistrates ordered Kelly to pay a fine of £50 and an additional £150 towards court costs.
She broke down in tears when told she was also disqualified from keeping animals for five years.
The ban means that she has to give up her 18-month-old pet dog named Chaos.