When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Owner of neglected shih-tzu dog given community order
A SOUTHAMPTON dog owner has been handed a nine-month community order for failing to look after her pet.
Lorraine Jepsen's shih-tzu Cindy had such badly matted hair that it had caused ulcerations on one of her legs, which had then become infected.
And following her conviction for causing unnecessary suffering, the RSPCA has issued fresh guidelines on how to look after long-haired dogs.
Twelve-year-old Cindy was found by RPSCA inspectors in March this year.
The dog's legs were covered in matted fur, and the matting was so bad on her right fore leg that it had rubbed on her skin, causing an ulceration.
The wound had become infected and she was unable to bear weight on that leg.
She had also developed a “dry eye” condition that caused her eyelids to stick to her eyeballs, while her claws had become so overgrown that some of them were growing into her pads.
Vets believed that Cindy had suffered with the condition for about two weeks, although her matting would have taken months to have grow.
Jepsen, 46, of Coxford Road, was found guilty of two charges of causing unnecessary suffering and two of failing to meet the dog's needs at Southampton Magistrates' Court.
She was ordered to pay £800 in costs by the magistrates, and must complete a nine-month community order.
She had said in defence that she did not realise her pet was suffering.
Inspector Bailey said: “Cindy was clearly in pain and you could smell the infected wound - the hair was so hard on her leg it was like a plaster cast. She should never have been allowed to become so matted and at the very least should have seen a vet for her leg and eye problems.
“She has lived with a fosterer for the past six months and is a changed dog - she's no longer timid and reclusive, but a confident, lively little dog.
“Long-haired dogs like shih-tzus have become very popular in recent years, but owners should be aware that you have to check them daily for tangles and get them used to grooming. It is not acceptable to leave them until they suffer.”
For more information on how to look after long-haired dogs, visit rspca.org.uk
Comments are closed on this article.