A Blacon woman convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to her tumour-riddled dog blamed bad weather for her failure to visit a vet.
Staffordshire bull terrier Mia’s ‘aggressive malignant tumour’ on her head had become so infected that owner Catherine Dawn Marie Scott, of Stamford Road, placed a towel under her on her sofa due to the ‘weeping puss’.
But 55-year-old Scott has been prosecuted by the RSPCA for failing to provide proper and necessary veterinary care and attention for Mia – who has sadly been put down – between October 8 and November 8 last year.
The case against Scott was proved in her absence at a hearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday (February 25).
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The court heard that Mia was in such pain due to the large cancerous growth – which measured 12cm by 9cm – that she had difficulty eating and drinking, causing her to become dehydrated and emaciated.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Scott was given one week to seek veterinary care for Mia on October 28.
When an RSPCA inspector visited her home, they saw a towel had been placed on the sofa to catch the ‘weeping puss that leaked from the wound constantly’, Mr Murphy said, and reported a strong odour indicating infection.
Scott agreed to sign Mia over to the RSPCA to be euthanised.
Mr Murphy told magistrates that when Scott was asked why she had not sought treatment for Mia, she said she had been busy that week, that the weather was bad and she had no way of getting there.
RSPCA inspector Leanne Cragg, who investigated the case, said: “When I first saw Mia, I was absolutely shocked by how she looked.
“Her tumour was so large and swollen that it was dripping and Mia couldn’t hold her head up properly.
“Mia would have been in terrible pain.
This cancer was very aggressive and it had made her whole face swollen - it was in her ear and it had fused her jaw together.
“This is such a sad case and one which has stuck with me.”
Veterinary tests conducted in March last year confirmed the tumour was malignant, so Mia was prescribed a course of treatment but it ran out around two weeks before the RSPCA became involved.
Scott said she did not return to the vets because she knew Mia’s condition would inevitably deteriorate.
Mr Murphy said: “She acknowledged that the animal was in pain and knew she was going to lose her at some point.
“She said she was trying to get it under control.”
Mr Murphy added that vets found Mia was very bony when she was handed over to them to be put to sleep, with no body fat.
They believed she would have been in significant pain, unable to open her mouth much to eat.
“This could have been avoided by the owner, but in the meantime it suffered and it should not have.”
Scott will be sentenced at Chester Magistrates Court on March 3.