Houghton woman banned from keeping animals after she let dog suffer for weeks

Benji the dog.
Benji the dog.
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A Houghton care worker has been banned from keeping animals after her pet dog had to be destroyed due to neglect

Avril Scott, 47, failed to take elderly mongrel Benji to the vet, despite him suffering an horrific ear infection for weeks, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Benji the dog.

Benji the dog.

The dog’s ear had swollen to more than twice its normal size but Scott denied noticing anything was wrong until the day before the RSPCA paid her a visit in January.

The court heard she still failed to seek veterinary advice, instead going on a night out.

RPCA prosecutor Denise Jackman said: “The animal was euthanised three days later.”

She added that this was not purely down to the ear condition, but because the dog was elderly and also had Cushings disease.

If you were a hands-on owner, the dog would have yelped, because it would have been in significant pain

Denise Jackman, prosecuting

Scott, who lived at Alwyn Close, Houghton, at the time, represented herself, after pleading not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog between December 25, 2016, and January 15, this year.

Giving evidence, Scott said the dog belonged to her ex-husband and had been in the home for 10 years. When he moved out two years ago, she inherited responsibility for it.

She said: “The day before the RSPCA came out, he was looking a bit worried and funny but I was at work the next day.

“My daughter came back from school and she took him out. She noticed something wrong with his ear.

Benji the dog.

Benji the dog.

“I told her to get him to the vet, which she refused because we weren’t getting on. I was in the house a couple of hours, before going out.

“The RSPCA came the next day and said they were going to take him away.”

Mrs Jackman said a report from an expert said Benji’s ear must have been bad for two to three weeks.

Scott, who is now unemployed, and of Edgeware Road, Gateshead, was disqualified from keeping animals, except her two pet goldfish, for three years.

Benji the dog.

Benji the dog.

She will have to wait at least 18 months to apply to the court for the ban to be lifted.

She was fined £180 and was told to pay £340 costs, £20 surcharge and £100 towards the vet’s report.