#TheList Claire Shears, born 04/06/1980, of Angus Close, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE12 6QR – let her bichon frise’s fur get so matted he struggled to see or hear
Claire Shears’ dog, Basil, had gone ungroomed for so long he couldn’t even walk around because all the matted fur had wrapped around his feet.
Basil’s left eye – which was totally covered by matted clumps – was red and sore. The fur was matted so tight it meant the dog’s eye was touching his ear and mouth.
Shears admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Basil by failing to ensure he was properly groomed between March 11 and May 11, 2017.
RSPCA inspector Helen Bestwick said: ‘It took over two hours to dematt Basil.
‘He was in a terrible state. His eye was matted to his ear and nose and was pulling tight and he looked like he was wearing boots his feet were so matted.
‘Afterwards he was running around like a pup, he was obviously very happy to be free of the matting which was causing him to suffer.
‘Luckily, the skin underneath wasn’t too bad and once he had been groomed he was feeling much better.’
The RSPCA first visited Shears’ home in October 2018, but had to return almost 20 times before they finally got to see the dog. Officers removed Basil from her home in May 2010.
Tragically, the dog had to be put to sleep in July after contracting an aggressive throat tumour unrelated to the case.
‘It was really upsetting for everyone, he wasn’t eating well and was booked in for a dental.
‘When the vet went to put the tube down his throat they discovered the tumour.
‘A biopsy found it was aggressive and was going to cause him a great deal of suffering.’
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation days; ordered to pay £285. Banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.