A woman neglected her dog so badly it was unable to see and walk properly and has been left disfigured.
Anne Nelson failed to seek veterinary attention for her Shih Tzu, Sara, and did not take the animal to groomers when it urgently needed it.
The lack of care received by the dog meant the pet’s hair became so long and matted she could not move freely.
Nelson, 69, previously pleaded guilty to an animal neglect charge and returned to the dock at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week to be sentenced.
(Image: Daily Record.)
She admitted failing to care for the animal properly at her home in Ayrshire in July 2020.
Prosecutor Kiera Greer explained: “Investigators from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals attended at the locus in response to a complaint of dog neglect.
“The accused confirmed she was the owner of the dog.
“The witness was shocked at the condition of the dog.
“Her face was completely matted and it is described as if she was wearing a mask.
“Whilst walking around it looked uncomfortable and appeared to be sore.”
The fur on her face was so matted it covered her eyes and she could not see properly.
Miss Greer added: “She said she had been less mindful of the dog than normal due to caring for her husband and in addition suffering from her own health issues.”
A ver examined the dog, which has since been rehomed, and started to shave her fur.
But it was so matted it pulled painfully on her skin, and they had to give the dog general anesthetic to be able to shave it.
She said it had also “been covering her eyes, affecting her vision” and that her nails were so long she had to walk differently and had damaged tendons in her feet due to the position her toes had been in.
Defense solicitor Peter Murray said Nelson, who is in a wheelchair, had struggled after her husband “suffered a stroke and became housebound”.
He said she had owned dogs for a number of years and never had a problem until they both fell ill and added: “They struggled to care for themselves.”
Sheriff Colin Bissett said: “You appear in court as a first offender at the age of 69.
“Whilst I understand how difficult your personal circumstances must have been, there were other steps you could have taken.
“You could and should really have put the dog for rehoming – there’s no excuse for that.”
He found Nelson £600, reduced from £800 as she admitted her guilt.
Upon hearing the fine, Nelson said: “I’m being fined £600? Because I didn’t get my dog a haircut?”
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