January 31, 2023

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Derby dog owner neglected elderly terrier found cowering under a bush in the dirt

This is the shocking state of an elderly dog who was found by the RSPCA after being called to a report that she had collapsed in a Derby garden.

Underweight 18-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Missy was cold and cowering under a bush as fireworks went off around the terrified animal.

The charity’s inspector said the poor pet was locked out of its home, was covered in mange and had an eye infection.

Now her owner, 47-year-old Victoria Taylor, of Oakwood, Derby, has been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how the RSPCA were called to her address on Saturday, November 1, last year after a member of the public reported seeing a collapsed animal in the garden.

Inspector Rachel Leafe was sent to the property that evening but there was no one inside the house, so she went to a neighbour’s garden and could see a very underweight elderly dog curled up under a bush in the dirt.

Inspector Leafe said: “I used a ladder to look over the fence into the garden.

“Here, directly beneath me, lay curled up under a bush on the dirt an elderly looking, very underweight medium-sized dog.

“There were odd sprigs of fur, enough for me to tell she should have been tan or red in colour. The whole body was covered in what looked to be mange.

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“I could see there was no man-made shelter at all available for her. The back door to the property was shut so she could not get inside. I could not see any food or water or any empty bowls.

“I whistled to her and she eventually, very reluctantly, stiffly and unsteadily got up and walked a few yards before lying back down on the wet ground.”

Rachel said it was a cold night, pouring down with rain, and fireworks were going off so she called Derbyshire police to attend and Missy was rushed to a vet for emergency treatment.

An expert independent vet said in a report: “She was severely emaciated with a body score of 1.5 on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being the thinnest body condition.

“She had a severe dry eye.

“The condition is caused by the body reacting to its own tears as part of an immune reaction.

“This condition is extremely painful and both corneas were inflamed and cloudy.

“She had long pointy nails showing that she had little or no exercise for some time.”

Missy underwent weeks of treatment during RSPCA care but by December 3 new lumps and tumours were appearing all over her body and it was found she had an aggressive form of lymphoma cancer, and had just a few weeks to live.

A vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put Missy to sleep, to end her suffering, while she was still under general anaesthetic.

Taylor, of Ingledew Close, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

As well as the ban on keeping animals for five years, she was handed 12-month community order, with 15 rehabilitation sessions. She was also ordered to pay £400 costs, a £47 fine and £95 victim surcharge.

In mitigation the court heard how Taylor had admitted in interview to the offence and told inspector Leafe she was distraught she had allowed Missy to get into such a condition.