#TheList Paula McNeil, born 06/01/1981, of 30 Yew Tree Road, Moreton, Wirral CH46 8UB – failed to take her desperately ill dog to the vet and left her to suffer for months in agony
Paula McNeil was banned from keeping animals for six years after “one of the worst cases” an RSPCA inspector said they had come across.
Inspector Anthony Joynes said the dog – a bull terrier cross known as Sahara – was “completely let down by her owner, became emaciated and was and left to suffer” with an untreated burst abscess on her neck and chin. She was in such a bad way vets had no choice but to put her to sleep on humane grounds.
McNeil admitted neglecting Sahara and pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering.
Inspector Joynes was first called to investigate after McNeil had taken Sahara to the vets to be put down on September 11, 2019.
Seeing that the dog was in pain, the vet complied but alerted the RSPCA.
Inspector Joynes was sent to collect the body of Sahara and a detailed veterinary examination was carried out the following day.
He said: “As soon as I entered the surgery I was met with an incredibly strong and unforgettable smell of necrosis and infection.
“I described the dog as being emaciated with the bones of the ribs, pelvis and spine being clearly visible.
“There was clear muscle atrophy and the coat was dull, sticky and stained throughout, particularly the rear legs, with faeces and urine.
“I observed a large melon-sized open necrotic mass which appeared to cover the whole of the dog’s neck under the chin.
“There was pus clearly visible oozing out of this area as it was manipulated and the smell was overpowering. I noted two other severe, deep open sores to the front right leg which had the appearance of pressure sores.
“Both of these wounds appeared to be right down to the bone and pus was present.
Hollie Jones, a vet at Upton Veterinary Centre, who carried out a detailed veterinary examination said in her medical report that the most notable abnormality was a very large ulcerated ruptured mass present on the jaw and neck extending into the right side of the face.
Part of it was exposing underlying tissues where the mass had burst and there was a large amount of pus coming from the area and parts of the skin were necrotic. She said Sahara would have suffered with this wound for months.
She also found severe pressure sores on her right side – these were full thickness through the skin to the bones – exposing tendons and other joints.
Faeces and urine had caused an infection in the sores suggesting that Sahara had been left in a collapsed state laying on her side for at least a week.
She was also severely emaciated with all her bones protruding and weighed 18.2 kgs.
The vet said she would have expected a dog of this type to weigh around 39kg and added the wound to her neck would have made eating in the latter stages impossible
McNeil claimed during her interview that the abscess was caused by a bee sting just weeks before.
Inspector Joynes said: “The vet report shows Sahara had been suffering from this abscess in her neck for months without treatment and because of this it had broken down and become necrotic.
“This had led to her collapsed state and pressure sores on her body indicate she was left like this for weeks. She was also unable to eat because of the severity of the wound.
“There is never an excuse to deprive any pet in need of veterinary attention and in this case Sahara was neglected for such a long period of time. Photographs show how she was a healthy dog before.
“In my 11 years as an inspector it was one of the worst cases of its type I have come across – she was completely let down by her owner and left to suffer. Even when she had collapsed help was not sought for her immediately.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order for a period of 12 months, with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days; 160 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay a total of £1,395.86 in costs and charges. Six-year ban on keeping animals.