Lifetime pet ban for owner of tragic poodle

A BIRSTALL woman has been given a lifetime ban from keeping pets after serious neglecting her poodle left vets no option but to put him down.

Imelda Speed, of Withens Road, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between November 24, 2016, and January 24 this year.

The 68-year-old was branded an “incompetent owner” by Kirklees magistrates, who handed her a suspended jail term and banned her from keeping pets indefinitely.

When the 19-year-old poodle, named Trigger, was discovered he was half the expected body weight of an animal of his type and age.

His fur was so matted that it took a team of two people an hour to shave it off, and he had lost the ability to walk.

The Huddersfield court also heard that when vet Laura Smith examined Trigger, he was completely collapsed with a strong smell of faeces and urine and had very few teeth remaining with abnormal holes in his upper jaw.

Philip Brown, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The vet concluded that the only humane approach was immediate euthanasia.

“This had to be done with an injection straight into the heart because she was unable to get to any veins in his legs because the matting was so severe.

“The level of neglect is unimaginable and the vet concluded that any responsible owner would have taken action to alleviate suffering at a much earlier stage.”

Speed was worried because she knew taking the dog to the vets would result in him having to be put down. She admitted having to carry Trigger around for three weeks in a blanket because he couldn’t walk, and that she had to get water into him through a syringe because he wouldn’t eat.

Andy Day, mitigating, said: “The dog was her sole companion and she was in denial. The line ‘well-intentioned but incompetent’ sums it up quite well – she tried ineffectually to care for him.”

Speed was given an 18-week sentence suspended for a year and was ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim surcharge of £115.

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