A neglected dog was in such a poor state when it was found vets had to remove an eye after “extremely” matted fur had caused him to go blind.
Bichon Frise Oscar’s fur was so badly matted it completely covered one eye, which caused permanent damage to his eyeball.
His other eye became infected and Oscar will need medication for the rest of his life to save his sight in that eyeball.
Vets also had to remove a kilogram of matted fur that took hours to shave, such was the shocking state his hair had been left to get into.
Owner Jean Simpson, 61, had meant to have cared for Oscar after being “unexpectedly” being left to look after him by a family member.
Simpson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between January and June this year at York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 8
She was sentenced to a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was also disqualified from keeping all animals indefinitely.
The court heard it would have taken two years for the fur to get in such as state and vets believe the infection would have been present for six to twelve months.
The poorly pooch’s skin was covered in sores when he was found by an RSPCA inspector and he needed 17 teeth removing.
He was in so much pain he cried out when the inspector tried to touch him to asses his injuries.
Simpson had called the charity to rehome him because she became poorly herself.
But when inspector Alice Cooper arrived at her house in Malton, North Yorks., she found him in a shocking state, with “extreme” matting over his head, face, legs and feet.
Speaking after the case, she said: “His ears were two huge clumps of infected matted fur with green, yellow and black tar-like gunge, spreading out of his ears and across the side of his face.
“One eye was completely matted over with fur and the other was crusty with green gunk stuck to the eyeball and surrounding area.
“Oscar was making a whimpering noise and crying out in pain if I tried to stroke him or touch him to assess his condition.”
Oscar had to be sedated so vets could shave his coat to remove the mattered fur, which took hours. He weighed a full kilogram less after the procedure.
Inspector Cooper added: “The vet said she believed it would have taken around two years for Oscar to have ended up in that matted state and that his ear and eye infections had been present for six to 12 months.
“These were all health problems that could have been quickly and easily treated if his owner had taken him for veterinary treatment and had him groomed regularly.”
Simpson had been Oscar’s sole carer for around three years and she said she had been grooming him herself and he had not seen a vet since living with her.
When she became aware of his ear infection, she didn’t take him to a vet as she could not afford it.
She said she didn’t ask for help because she was scared of the consequences.
Simpson signed Oscar over into the RSPCA’s care and he was taken to York Animal Home.
He has since been rehomed and is now doing “really well” with his new family, the charity said.
Inspector Cooper added: “Oscar has lost an eye and will need medication for the rest of his life but he’s been lucky enough to find a new home with a wonderful couple who absolutely adore him.
“I appreciate that Ms Simpson didn’t plan on having a dog and that she couldn’t afford to treat him when he needed veterinary care.
“However, anyone who is struggling to care for their animals needs to ask for help so animals are not left to suffer.”