#TheList Sharon Lunn, born c. 1975, of Biscop Crescent, Newton Aycliffe DL5 – failed to get treatment for her elderly dog’s severe dental disease, cataracts and large tumour.
RSPCA inspectors attended Lunn’s address in response to a call from a concerned member of the public where they found 14-year-old Max dirty and with a large swollen lump on his testicle.
Kevin Campbell, prosecuting, said: “The dog was removed from the house and taken to the vets who confirm that the dog has cataracts and severe dental disease on both sides of its mouth, on the upper and lower jaws and a large swollen lump on his testicle.
“He states that the dog would have been suffering as a result of the neglect. He also had suppressed bone marrow, anaemia and fleas at that time and needed 21 teeth removing as a result.
“The vet states that the dog would have been in pain, with that degree of toothache.
“It would have been visible to any reasonable dog owner.
“The vet states the symptoms would have been visible for at least six months.
“They believe that the person responsible should not be looking after animals.
“It’s accepted by the RSPCA that this was not a deliberate cause of suffering, rather neglect over a long period of time.”
A report from probation said Lunn was devastated about what had happened.
It said: “She lives alone and has not worked for a number of years and she’s not really able to start work at the moment because of her emotional health.
“She is also currently on a methadone prescription.
“During her early 20s she became addicted to cocaine after a serious operation which progressed to heroin.
“There have been times in her life when she has been unable to leave the house.
“She says she knows she should have got medical attention but the dog seemed happy and running around.
“She is devastated by everything that has happened and says the dog was the only thing she had left in her life. She very much regrets her actions and the thought that the animal suffered devastates her.”
Lunn pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between August 2018 and August 2019.
Sentencing: 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 15 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £235 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years.