A CARLISLE woman has been banned from keeping dogs for ten years after she admitted failing to get proper treatment for her pet’s painful skin condition.
Patricia Maughin, 61, admitted causing her dog Molly unnecessary suffering by ignoring its long-standing skin complaint, which left the labrador collie cross with extensive bald patches and painfully blocked ears.
RSPCA inspector Chris Towler said that the case graphically underlined the need for owners to realise that they have a legal responsibility to ensure their pets are properly cared for.
Workington Magistrates’ Court heard how Maughin, of Richmond Green, Carlisle, took the dog to a vet in 2001 because it was suffering the same skin condition.
In January this year, RSPCA officials visited her and discovered the dog, which by then had lost much of the fur on its head, legs and body.
Its ears were so blocked and uncomfortable that eight-year-old Molly was constantly shaking her head in an attempt to clear them.
Maughin, who is of previous good character, pleaded guilty to causing the dog unnecessary suffering by failing to get it veterinary treatment.
The defendant had tried various pet shop products but they clearly had not worked. Maughin told the court that she felt remorse for allowing Molly to get into such a poor physical condition.
The court imposed both the 10 year ban and ordered that Maughin should pay £450 towards the £2,500 cost of the case and caring for Molly, who needed an operation to repair her ears.
She also agreed to sign over the dog the care of the RSPCA, which has been looking after the dog since it was seized.
The Animal Welfare Act gives courts the power to impose a fine of up to £20,000 and imprisonment of up to 51 weeks.