Neglected dog the worst case a vet had ever seen

PUBLISHED: 12:53 20 January 2012

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A WORLE woman has admitted letting her pet dog fall into a 'dreadful state' to such an extent that a vet had never seen a condition as bad in her 16 years of animal care.

Celia Blackwell, aged 59, allowed her Jack Russell terrier to suffer with a chronic skin condition for more than 18 months before it was put down, North Somerset Courthouse was told yesterday (Wednesday).

She pleaded guilty to three charges; one of failing to look after the animal’s welfare responsibly and two of not providing adequate veterinary care for the dog, called Noble.

But she disputed the RSPCA’s claim that her pet had received no medication between November 2009 and July 2011, when the animal was put down.

Kevin Withey, prosecuting, said the dog was in such a poorly state that vets had to give him pain relief simply to handle him when they put him to sleep.

Blackwell, of Warrilow Close, had taken Noble to Beaconsfield Practice in Weston twice in November 2009 for treatment and claw clipping.

But despite vet Helen Avison telling her that the dog needed regular treatment, Blackwell did not return to that practice until July of last year.

By that time, Noble’s condition had deteriorated markedly.

Miss Avison, who has 16 years experience in the veterinary industry, said: “His condition was really dreadful, and I was shocked to how his skin condition had deteriorated.

“It was the worst I have ever seen before, or ever since.”

She added Noble’s claws had overgrown to such an extent they were growing into the dog’s pads.

Blackwell claimed she had asked for the dog to be put down in November 2009, although Miss Avison said she couldn’t recall the request and there was no such indication in the dog’s records.

Blackwell also told the court she had bought medication for Noble’s skin problems from supermarkets and pet shops during the period he went unseen by vets.

She said: “He was in a really bad way. I was hoping he would pass away naturally but then I felt he had to be put down to put him out of his misery.”

As the Mercury went to press, magistrates had retired to consider Blackwell’s sentence.

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