A COUPLE have been given a community order after letting their dog’s skin condition get so bad that deep sores covered its body.
Russell Williamson, 49, and wife Helen, 36, of Malham Road, Brighouse, denied charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the dog’s welfare.
Ten-year-old English Bull Terrier Molly escaped from the couple’s home in May last year and was found by a resident living a few roads away.
Molly was treated by vets for her infected sores and deep wounds, some of which went through to the muscle.
Andy Davidson, prosecuting for the RSPCA, described the injuries as “horrific” and suggested it was due to a lack of money that Molly had not seen a vet for three years.
Clive Rees, for the Williamsons, said Molly’s condition was not to that extent when she was in their care and must have worsened after she escaped.
Calderdale magistrates heard she had suffered from a life-long skin condition that the couple had been treating by bathing her in salt water.
They had previously tried antihistamines, steroid injections, skin scrapes, medication, shampoos and creams.
Mrs Williamson said: “She’s just a beautiful, caring dog that I have had since she was five weeks old. There is no way I would let Molly get into a condition like that. I just want her back home.”
Magistrate Mrs Mackenzie said: “This was a result of a lack of money rather than deliberate cruelty.”
They were given a community order of 120 hours of unpaid work each and must pay £500 court costs.
The pair also have two bulldogs, a cat, a hamster, a pony and a spider.
The court made a deprivation order meaning Molly will not return to the couple but they have been allowed to keep their other pets.