A dog owner has been handed a suspended sentence for neglect after her pet was discovered covered in 1kg of fur, causing him to suffer unbearable pain.
Bichon Frise Oscar was in such a bad state that his entire body was covered in clumped fur, with infections causing “tar-like gunge” to spread across his face.
The fur was so badly matted that vets were forced to remove his eye.
Vets who treated the animal said that it would have taken two years for Oscar to have ended up in such a state.
Owner Jean Audrey Simpson has now pleaded guilty to neglect under the Animal Welfare Act and has been given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Simpson, of Malton, has also been banned from keeping animals indefinitely.
RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who was called to Simpson’s home, said it was “clear Oscar had extreme and extensive matting over his head, face, ears, legs and feet”.
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She said: “His ears were two huge clumps of infected matted fur with green, yellow and black tar-like gunge, spreading out of his ears and across the side of his face.
“One eye was completely matted over with fur and the other was crusty with green gunk stuck to the eyeball and surrounding area.
“His legs were solid clumps of thick, tightly packed matts and his feet were now large balls of matted fur. I couldn’t see his foot pads, and I could only see the odd nail poking out the matted ball.
“Oscar was making a whimpering noise and crying out in pain if I tried to stroke him or touch him to assess his condition.”
Simpson had called the RSPCA to her property to ask them to re-home Oscar because of his poorly ears.
But the dog was sedated and vets spent several hours removing the fur - leaving him 1kg lighter by the time they had finished.
Oscar, who was covered in sores, had an inflammation of the ear canal and needed 17 teeth removed.
Vets were also forced to remove an eye due to permanent damage caused by the matting which left him blind.
Inspector Cooper added: “These were all health problems that could have been quickly and easily treated if his owner had taken him for veterinary treatment and had him groomed regularly.”
Oscar came to be in Simpson’s care unexpectedly but she did not take him to the vet after he got an ear infection because she couldn't afford it.
The dog has now been re-homed with a new family after recovering at York Animal Home.
Inspector Cooper said: “Oscar has lost an eye and will need medication for the rest of his life but he’s been lucky enough to find a new home with a wonderful couple who absolutely adore him.
“I appreciate that Ms Simpson didn’t plan on having a dog and that she couldn’t afford to treat him when he needed veterinary care. However, anyone who is struggling to care for their animals needs to ask for help so animals are not left to suffer.”