THESE photos show how bad little rescue dog Tam’s fur was matted before her owner was brought to court.
The 10-year-old shih tzu could not see and had the hair was so matted it damaged her eyes.
This was not a condition that could have gone on unnoticed by the owner as it’s very severe and she was giving off a smellSarah Weadon
But magistrates have refused to ban Cheryl Welch from keeping pets – because her children love them.
Welch, 37, of Purbrook Way, Havant, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate veterinary care and a charge of failing to protect Tam from pain, suffering, injury and disease by failing to adequately groom the dog.
Chair of the magistrates’ Jennifer Dudridge made the ruling as there was ‘no evidence of neglect of remaining animals and your children love their pets and they are important to them’.
An earlier court hearing was told Tam had been a rescue dog and Welch had taken her in.
But she was found by a member of the public and reported to the RSPCA after a freak near-miss when the dog ran out into the road and was nearly run over.
The driver was so shocked by the matted hair all over Tam that she called the RSPCA.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how she was suffering from ‘poor husbandry’ with faeces and urine in her hair.
She was suffering from dry eye, which had gone untreated for six months.
Sarah Wheadon, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: ‘It certainly had been very uncomfortable for Tam and caused a significant degree of irritation.’ She added: ‘This was not a condition that could have gone on unnoticed by the owner.
‘It’s very severe and Tam was giving off a smell.’
Tam has been signed over to the RSPCA but Welch has cats, birds and another dog.
Welch was very apologetic over the condition of the dog, the court was told.
Magistrates handed her a community order with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
She must pay £100 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
The dog was found on June 17.