Severely matted dog had to have an eye removed

A North Yorkshire woman was sentenced for neglect after vets removed 1kg of severely matted hair from her dog.

Jean Audrey Simpson of Milton Avenue, Malton, appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (8 October) where she was sentenced in relation to one offence under the Animal Welfare 2006, which she had pleaded guilty to.

She was sentenced to a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was also disqualified from keeping all animals indefinitely.

When RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper was called to Simpson’s home, she found Bichon Frise Oscar in a very poor state.

Oscar in his new home

She said: “Ms Simpson had called the RSPCA and asked us to rehome her dog because she had poorly ears. When I arrived, it was clear Oscar had extreme and extensive matting over his head, face, ears, legs and feet. 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 of the matted fur.

“Oscar was making a whimpering noise and crying out in pain if I tried to stroke him or touch him to assess his condition.”

Oscar was sedated and it took hours to shave his coat to remove all of the matts. Vets weighed him after he’d been shaved, and he was 1kg lighter.

He had lost of sores on his skin, discharge from his ears and eyes, chronic otitis externa (inflammation of the ear canal) and needed 17 teeth removed. Oscar later had an eye removed due to permanent damage caused by the matting which left him blind.

Inspector Cooper added: “The vet said she believed it would have taken around two years for Oscar to have ended up in that matted state and that his ear and eye infections had been present for six to 12 months.

“There 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.”

Simpson had been Oscar’s sole carer for around three years after he came into her care unexpectedly. She said she’d been grooming him herself and he hadn’t see a vet since living with her.

When she became aware of his ear infection, she didn’t take him to a. vet as she couldn’t afford it. She said she didn’t ask for help because she was scared of the consequences.

Simpson signed Oscar over into the RSPCA’s care and he was taken to York Animal Home. He has since been rehomed and is now doing really well with his new family.

Inspector Cooper added: “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.”