|Suspended sentence and ban for Shih Tzu owner
A man from Skegness has been sentenced after allowing his Shih Tzu dog to get into a 'horrendous state'. The RSPCA appealed for information to find her owner after she was found by a member of the public in March.
Michael Ivan Timms appeared before Lincoln Magistrates' Court after being arrested on a warrant.
He was previously found guilty in his absence of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the female Shih Tzu, called 'Skye', under the Animal Welfare Act.*
He was sentenced to 20 weeks jail suspended for 24 months, disqualified from keeping animals for ten years, ordered to pay costs of £500 and a £115 victim surcharge.
RSPCA inspector Laura Jones said: "Skye was spotted staggering along Alexandra Road on Sunday 19 March.
"I got the call and rushed her to the vets. I so hoped they would be able to save her, but she was very, very poorly and suffering so much pain that the vet decided the kindest thing to do was the put her to sleep on welfare grounds.
"She was in a horrendous state. She had a burst abscess in her mouth which was weeping onto her face, rotting teeth, matted fur and hair loss on her back, a flea infestation, was underweight and had a golf ball sized tumour in her abdomen, which turned out to be non-malignant.
"Despite all she was enduring she was adorable and sweet natured. It was absolutely heartbreaking."
The RSPCA appealed to the media to trace her owner and someone called in with information that led us to Timms.
"We are so grateful to everyone who helped with the appeal for information, which directly resulted in us tracking him down," said inspector Jones.
The court heard that Skye had been missing from home for just over two weeks after being let out into the garden. Timms had been aware of a problem with her skin and her mouth and had a vet out to her some time in 2016 because she had been in pain, but no records were found of this.
RSPCA inspector Jones said: "He said she yelped when she tried to eat, and he had been feeding her softer food for a while, which made her yelp less. He said that he had been cleaning her mouth, which smelled bad, until she stopped letting him near it, but said she had been coping.
"He had been bathing her in flea shampoo but had none left to show me.
"There was a vet less than half a mile from Timms' house. Things could have been so different if he'd just got treatment for her."
In mitigation, the court heard that Timms was suffering health problems.