A woman has appeared in court after the death of a Dalmatian which was starved and left with an agonising skin condition.
Bella, the six-year-old pet, was taken in by a rescue charity when a member was tipped off about the appalling condition she was in.
Amy Louise Bennett, 26, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Bella between March and June this year by failing to explore and address her deteriorating physical condition.
Bella was taken in by the Dalmatian Adoption Society and Rescue which went on to contcat the RSPCA over her condition.
Sue Bell, who founded the charity in May last year, said Bella’s skin condition was so bad that she was biting and scratching herself to get a little bit of relief.
She said Bella was also emaciated with her bones clearly visible through her skin.
The poor dog was in a shocking stateRSPCA Insp Nick Jones
Sadly, a few days after being rescued Bella died in the night from a condition called bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus, which is when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand and twist.
Sue said: “Ironically, the starving and skin condition didn’t kill her, but I think it must have happened because she started eating again.”
The dog-lover said no animal should have to suffer the neglect Bella had before they found her and said rescuers were in tears over the state of her and informed the RSPCA.
She said: “It is absolutely horrific what this poor dog went through.
“It is disgusting, it doesn’t matter what sort of dog it is, or what sort of animal for that, you can’t treat them like that.”
RSPCA inspector Nick Jones said: “This poor dog was in a shocking state.
“She was emaciated and had a terrible skin infection which had caused her to self-harm.
“Her whole body was covered in sores where she had chewed her skin until it was raw to relieve the irritation.”
Bennett said she had taken the dog on after her previous owner moved away and that she had issues with her skin from the start which she had treated herself when they escalated.
RSPCA inspector Jones said: “It is every owners responsibility to provide vet treatment for their pets when they need it.
“It would have been clear to anyone that Bella was suffering and needed professional help.”
Bennett, of St Leonard’s Crescent in Thornley, was disqualified at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court from keeping dogs for five years and ordered her to pay £150 costs.