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East Anglia: Couple found guilty of animal neglect after pet dog chewed its own foot off

PUBLISHED: 13:18 04 June 2014

RSPCA

RSPCA

Archant

A couple from East Anglia have been found guilty of neglecting their dog to such an extent that she chewed her own foot off.

Tony O’Neil, 55, and Donna Lynch, 44, from Great Yarmouth appeared before magistrates in the town on Monday after previously being found guilty of charges under the Animal Welfare Act relating to their 13-year-old brindle mastiff, Jessie.

The RSPCA was called in June 2013 in response to concerns about Jessie.

She had been taken to a vet who unwrapped a bandage over her left hind leg and found Jessie had completely chewed her own foot off due to untreated neurological problems. She had to be put down to end her suffering.

The concerned vet contacted the charity and police, who seized Jessie’s body. Investigations found that the couple had previously taken Jessie to the vet and were given treatment for her neurological problems.

When that medication ran out they failed to return to the vet, but instead ‘treated’ Jessie with Ibuprofen.

RSPCA inspector Carrie O’Riordan said: “This was one of the most visually distressing sights I have ever seen.

“Poor Jessie had completely chewed her own foot off - it just wasn’t there.

“There was a long standing neurological problem which made her lame in one leg, and she had become weaker and weaker.

“We think it must have been causing her a lot of pain and agitation, hence why she chewed on it so much.

“She must have been in a really severe state of suffering for quite some time to have done this to herself.

“How this couple could have just turned a blind eye to what was going on is just incredible, especially when they had previously taken her to the vet and knew she was supposed to be on a certain kind of medication.

“Ibuprofen just wouldn’t have done anything to help her - it is a human painkiller.

“There had been an urgent need to relieve this extreme suffering which had been completely ignored.”

Both defendants were found guilty on May 12 2013 of failing to provide adequate veterinary care and attention,failing to protect her from pain, suffering, injury and disease and for failing to provide proper veterinary care.

On Monday, at Great Yamouth Magistrates Court, O’Neil, of Middle Road, was fined £625 plus £63 surcharge, Lynch, of Nelson Road Central, was fined £260 plus £26 surcharge, and both were made to each pay £500 towards costs.

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