Ne­glected ter­rier was too weak to walk

Pet was left al­most bald with ‘ele­phant-like skin’

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

AWOMAN has walked free from court af­ter ad­mit­ting caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to her West High­land Ter­rier, Bobby. The poorly pet was dis­cov­ered with nearly no hair and ele­phant-like skin at the Oswaldtwistle home of Yvonne McAl­lis­ter.

A dis­trict nurse had spot­ted the dog in a dirty and flea-in­fested cage un­der the stairs dur­ing a visit. Blackburn Mag­is­trates Court was told the dog was in a ‘hor­ri­ble con­di­tion and undis­tin­guish­able as to what breed it was’.

THIS shock­ing pic­ture shows how a ne­glected dog be­came an ‘undis­tin­guish­able’ breed with nearly no hair and ‘ele­phant-like skin’.

Bobby, a West High­land Ter­rier, was spot­ted by a dis­trict nurse in a dirty and flea-in­fested cage un­der the stairs dur­ing a visit to Yvonne McAl­lis­ter’s home on Wordsworth Close in Oswaldtwistle, a court heard.

Blackburn Mag­is­trates Court was told how the dog was in a ‘hor­ri­ble con­di­tion and undis­tin­guish­able as to what breed it was’.

RSPCA pros­e­cu­tor Paul Ride­halgh said Bobby’s skin was pink with ears ‘twice the size’ as nor­mal and his paws were ‘over­grown and had be­gun to twist’.

The court heard how McAl­lis­ter told the nurse that Bobby had a skin con­di­tion for which she had bought sham­poo but hadn’t taken him to the vet.

She had also bought clip­pers but Bobby ‘wouldn’t let any­one near him to cut his nails’.

Mr Ride­halgh said dur­ing the visit Bobby ‘didn’t lift his head up at all, wag his tail or move’.

An RSPCA of­fi­cer later at­tended the prop­erty and said he was ‘un­recog­nis­able to him as a West High­land Ter­rier’ with grey skin which was ‘leather­like, thick and dry’.

The of­fi­cer said Bobby must have had the skin con­di­tion for an ‘ex­tended pe­riod of time’ and he was ‘sub­dued, lethar­gic and re­luc­tant to move’.

When he asked to take the dog to a vet McAl­lis­ter re­fused and said she wanted an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment.

Po­lice were called to the prop­erty and Bobby was taken to the My­er­scough Ve­teri­nary Group.

Mr Ride­halgh said Bobby had to be car­ried into the con­sul­tancy room be­cause he was ‘un­able to walk’ and ‘ so weak he could not stand up’.

The vet said his nose was ‘dry and cracked’ and she couldn’t ex­am­ine his ear canal be­cause it was ‘too in­flamed’.

His eyes were also cov­ered with a green dis­charge’.

The pros­e­cu­tor said: “In the vet’s opin­ion he was in a very poor con­di­tion. She ob­served that she had never seen an an­i­mal in such a con­di­tion pre­vi­ously.”

The court was told that Bobby ‘highly likely had an un­der­ly­ing sys­temic disease’ which led to ‘sec­ondary bac­te­rial in­fec­tion’.

Mr Ride­halgh said the dog had suf­fered ‘for a pe­riod of at least sev­eral months and pos­si­bly longer’ and had to be put down af­ter ‘long-term ne­glect’.

McAl­lis­ter, 55, pleaded guilty to caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to an an­i­mal.

She was given a 12-month com­mu­nity or­der with 50 hours un­paid work, a three­month cur­few, or­dered to pay £600 costs and banned from own­ing or keep­ing an­i­mals for five ‘thick

Yvonne McAl­lis­ter out­side court

Yvonne McAl­lis­ter

Bobby af­ter be­ing treated by RSPCA of­fi­cers

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