A FAMILY pet was left lame and in agony for months before having to be put down by the RSPCA after a husband and wife refused to pay for vets bills.
Ellie-May, an 11-year-old Rottweiler, could not walk on one of her hind legs and was so emaciated RSPCA vets said they had no choice but to put her down.
Her owners, Karen Roberts and Darryl Jones, never took her to the vets for months despite being aware she was becoming emaciated and was lame.
At a trial at Wigan Magistrates’ Court, justices heard how by the time Jones took Ellie-May to the RSPCA in Wigan it was too late to save her.
Prosecuting Tony Stock said: “The vet at the centre informed the RSPCA inspector and by the time the dog came to them she was completely lame and very underweight.
“On her hind left leg there was a solid mass that the dog reacted painfully too when touched and severe muscle wastage.
“Her claws were hugely overgrown, a sign that she had not used the leg for a long period.
“Miss Roberts claimed it had only been about three weeks, but RSPCA inspectors say it would have been at least double that if not longer.” The court heard how the couple were going through a divorce and were in so much debt that neither wanted to take the dog to the vet’s for fear of the cost.
It was added that neither thought it was that serious.
Eventually Jones took her to the RSPCA centre, but had previously turned down the offer of a loan to help pay for the vet fees from a neighbour who had been so concerned about Ellie-May after seeing her.
Defending Roberts, Bob Toppin told the court: “Both parties are full of remorse and never imagined they would be facing a court for this.
“Both are going through a divorce and are in huge amounts of debt and simply could not afford the vets bills.”
Jones, of Valley Road, Pemberton, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £400 costs.
Roberts, of Edinburgh Drive, Pemberton, was sentenced to a curfew for 20 weeks from 7pm to 7am and also ordered to pay £400 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
After the trial, RSPCA Inspector Melissa Furey said she was satisfied with the sentence handed down to the pair by the magistrates.
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