A mother of four from Birmingham has been warned she could be jailed after letting her pet dog get so ill and emaciated that it had to be put down.
Owner Deborah Philips knew the mastiff dog, called Rebel, was suffering from a severe eye and anal infection but had ignored pleas by vets to get the animal treated, Birmingham Magistrates Court heard.
Philips, 35, of Walkers Heath Road, Kings Norton, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Inspectors from animal charity the RSPCA came to the dog’s rescue after Philips’ 15-year-old daughter raised the alarm, said Gaynor Sutton, prosecuting.
“The teenager answered the door and said the dog had collapsed and was dying,” said Mrs Sutton. “Inspectors saw the dog on the floor, unable to stand or even hold up its own head.”
She said inspectors had to carry the dog out of the property and rushed him to a vet, who found he weighed just 40kg – 10kg less than he should have.
“The vet described the dog as very weak and a hideous smell of faecal matter and urine was emanating from him,” she added.
“The dogs’ infections meant he would have been in pain for at least a week. It’s not clear whether the pain from the infection or an insufficient diet caused the weight loss.
“But blood samples were taken and showed abnormal results which sadly meant the dog had to be euthanised.”
She said Philips was questioned over the dog’s condition and revealed she had called animal charity the PDSA about it.
“The PDSA asked her to bring the dog in but she said she didn’t as she didn’t have any transport,” added Mrs Sutton.
“She came up with a series of pathetic excuses as to why she could not take him to the vets.”
The court heard Philips could face up to six months behind bars when she is sentenced on April 30.
Indy Bhomra, defending, said: “My client is of a good character and she is extremely remorseful about what happened.
“She has four children at home who rely on her and is surviving on benefits.”