A DISTRESSED dog was left crying in agony with maggot-infested leg wounds after her owners refused to call a vet.
Ivy Bates, 42, belatedly called an RSPCA inspector to her home in Montrose Avenue, Wigan, shared with her husband, Alan, as their 16-year-old Jack Russell-type dog, Lulu, yelped in pain.
Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how Lulu was in such agony that call-handlers could hear her moaning in the background during the course of the phone call.
Tony Stock, prosecuting, told how RSPCA inspector Claire Fisher was quickly dispatched to the scene and was left immediately “disturbed” by the noise emanating from the distressed animal.
When she pulled back the blanket which had been wrapped around the dog, she could see that Lulu’s right rear leg was in “a terrible state”.
Not only was the limb grossly swollen, there were several maggot-infested open sores.
Claire Fisher said: “It was very upsetting. The dog’s crying and moaning was relentless. It was clearly in a lot of pain. I’ve worked for the RSPCA for 10 years but this case really upset me.”
Mr and Mrs Bates both agreed to sign over Lulu to the RSPCA and vet Katrina O’Brien found that the dog’s leg had multiple oozing sores with deep tracts into the tissue in which maggots could be seen. Sadly, Lulu had to be put to sleep.
Mr Stock added that, regardless of the cause of the lesions, the degree of inflammation and infection - not to mention the maggots - was “entirely unacceptable”.
The size of the maggots indicated that they had been present within Lulu’s wounds for at least two days but the dog was estimated to have suffered for several weeks.
In interview, Mr Bates, 46, claimed he didn’t have much to do with the dog, but accepted he was partly responsible. He also revealed that Lulu had been limping for at least a month.
Mrs Bates accepted that she was primarily responsible for the dog’s welfare and told how Lulu’s leg had started swelling a couple of months earlier.
She claimed that transport problems, a lack of money and the knowledge that Lulu was likely to be put down had deterred her from calling a vet.
Bob Topping, defending both Mr and Mrs Bates, claimed they did not want to cause unnecessary harm to the dog.
He said both Mr and Mrs Bates were “remorseful, ashamed, embarrassed and upset”.
The couple pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and magistrates handed both defendants suspended eight-week jail sentences and banned them from owning any animals for 10 years.
Mr Bates must also complete a six-week curfew and Mrs Bates 80 hours of unpaid work. Both must also pay £700 each in costs.