Woman's animal ban after pet dog put down after flea infestation went untreated for SIX months

A woman has been banned from keeping animals for five years after her pet dog had to be put to sleep after suffering from a flea infestation that had gone untreated for six months.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 3:36 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 4:37 pm

Emma Bluff, 43, allowed her Akita-Staffordshire Bull Terrier Molly to suffer from the ‘horrendous’ flea infestation for at least half a year, a court heard.

She pleaded guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog when she appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court last Monday.

The court heard how the RSPCA were called to investigate after a member of the public reported concerns about the dog’s welfare.

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Molly had to be put to sleep because the infestation was so bad and led to many other health problems.
Molly had to be put to sleep because the infestation was so bad and led to many other health problems.

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Inspector Mick Darling was sent to the address and found Molly had lost half of her fur due to a severe flea infestation which an independent vet said had been left untreated for at least six months.

The vet found Molly, aged 11, was covered in fleas with inflammation all over her body, head, neck, muzzle and legs which had led to numerous self trauma injuries and infections.

The collar on Molly was so badly fouled by the fleas that the vet was unable to unclip it and it had to be cut off.

Due to her age, the flea infestation had caused Molly’s health to fail, she was underweight, had an untreated growth at the bottom of her tail and she was struggling to stand on her back legs.

Her claws were long with the front dew calls almost sticking into her leg. She also had sore feet which had been caused by standing in urine.

Due to the severity of her condition, her suffering and the fact she had other health problems the vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put Molly to sleep.

Inspector Darling said: “Molly was in a terrible condition and was left like this for at least six months.

“Sadly this case goes to show how untreated skin conditions and allergies can lead to painful and horrendous suffering and other health issues - it is a pet owner’s duty to seek veterinary treatment.”

As well as the ban on keeping all animals for five years Bluff was also handed a 16-week custodial sentence which was suspended for 12 months.

Bluff, of Sherwood Street, Carr Vale, Bolsover, was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £150 victim surcharge.

The court heard the offence crossed the custodial threshold but the judge suspended the sentence after hearing in mitigation how the defendant cared for a family member.