July 2022

Shocking animal neglect

Shocking images have revealed an emaciated dog that was so starving it ‘ate its own tail’ as its owner is banned from keeping animals for three years.

Cruel owner Kyla Martin, 31, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to her two-year-old dog Poppy.

Disturbing pictures show Poppy, a two-year-old lurcher crossed with a whippet, was so thin she could hardly stand up.

Her body was covered in lesions and vets say there is evidence to suggest she was so ravenous she chewed off the tip of her tail

Martin, of Burslem, Staffordshire, was handed a 12-month community order and banned from keeping animals for three years last Thursday.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Poppy had a body condition score of just one out of nine – the highest level of emaciation.

The court heard Martin took Poppy to a vet on January 12 and said her pet had lost a significant amount of weight over a one to two-week period.

She said multiple skin lesions had also appeared at the same time, whilst the large abscess on Poppy’s back had developed over two days.

When Martin refused to pay for blood tests and said she would rather Poppy was put to sleep rather than treated, the vet contacted the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Perehovsky quizzed Martin who admitted she had not taken Poppy to the vet sooner because she could not afford the bills.

She said: ‘It was clear from Poppy’s grave condition that she had not been receiving appropriate care for some time.

A second vet who examined Poppy on January 13 said: ‘The most significant and dramatic changes affected Poppy’s skin.

‘Due to poor muscle mass, the skin over all her bony elements (mostly pelvis) was lacerated and the tip of the tail was missing.

‘It’s not clear whether the tail injury happened due to trauma or was self-inflicted (due to extreme hunger) and the coccygeal vertebrae (the bone inside the tail) was exposed.

‘The most obvious abnormality was a large abscess on Poppy’s back, over her thoracic spine.

‘This was about 5cm in diameter, filled with fluid and uncomfortable when touched. The skin in the abscess area was necrotic.

‘I have no doubt that Poppy experienced unnecessary suffering, as a consequence of her owner’s neglect and insufficient care.

‘Suffering in this case could easily be avoided by providing adequate nutrition and veterinary care.

‘Poppy experienced hunger, lack of protection from danger (as she was exposed to other dogs that injured her) and lack of veterinary care.

‘There was no underlying health issue that could result in these changes.’

Martin was also ordered to pay £600 in costs and two other dogs she owned were seized and are being rehomed.

Poppy was cared for by Cheshire-based charity Alsager Animals in Need and she has since made a miracle recovery.

The charity is now appealing for a kind owner to come forward to offer Poppy her forever home.

‘But throughout all of this she’s been the perfect patient and never complained once.

‘The light has really come back into her eyes and her loving temperament wins over everyone who meets her.

‘She loves being stroked and fussed, she’s just a real sweetheart.’