#TheList Nicholas Paul Hawkes, born 16/09/1975, of 95 Medway Road, Ferndown BH22 8UR – failed to treat his elderly shih-tzu’s painful eye condition
Father-of-four Nicholas Hawkes failed to provide veterinary care for 12-year-old Gilly’s painful eye condition, which was discovered by a dog groomer who contacted the RSPCA.
The little dog was diagnosed with diabetes, which had been left untreated, and ultimately had to have one eye removed, while the other remains blind.
RSPCA Inspector Patrick Bailey looked after Gilly while she received veterinary treatment, and grew so attached he adopted her.
He said: “The groomer had already expressed a concern to the family that the dog appeared to be losing weight on a previous visit, suggesting they get her checked by the vet.
“On this visit, the groomer was upset to find the dog was now extremely thin. She had some general matting to the fur on her body and legs but significant matting to each eyeball and both were covered in a black, crusty substance.
“She described them as looking like pirate patches and that it was impossible to see the eyeball through the matting.
“She gently and carefully removed the crusting and found each eyeball to have ulcerated. She refused to give the dog back to the family and rushed it to a local vet and contacted the RSPCA.”
He said Gilly had been “extremely underweight” with bones prominent under her skin.
“The vet who examined Gilly diagnosed diabetes which had gone untreated, causing her to lose body condition and lose her vision,” he said.
Mr Bailey said Hawkes, when interviewed, had expressed a preference for trying “home remedies” rather than taking Gilly to the vet. These apparently included bathing the dog’s eyes in saline solution and applying apple cider vinegar to the back of her neck and her drinking water.
“He said he did not try to trim away the matted fur from the eyes through fear of injuring the dog and said that was why he’d taken her to the professional groomer,” said Mr Bailey.
“He said he did not think the dog was losing weight, nor did he think she was underweight.”
The inspector said Gilly has made a good recovery from her illness.
He added: “She enjoys her daily walks and trots along confidently.”
Sentencing: 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation; £500 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires August 2022).