February 2021

Dog owner jailed for neglect of elderly Shih-tzu Sophie

A 33-year-old woman has been jailed for neglecting her elderly Shih-tzu dog by leaving her to suffer without the care she desperately needed.

Marina Bradley, 33, of Tor Hill Road, Torquay, Devon, was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody and disqualified from keeping animals after her appearance before Newton Abbot Magistrates Court.

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Morris began an investigation for the animal welfare charity after Devon and Cornwall Police seized a dog they had discovered alone and in a distressing condition in Bradley’s flat.

Elderly grey and white female Shih-tzu, Sophie, had fur that was matted in places and bald in others, severe dry eye, overgrown nails with some cutting into her feet, a flea infestation, sore skin, and other health issues.

Sophie had live fleas crawling over her whole body and there was flea dirt in her coat. She had extensive fur loss on her head, from half way down her back, down her back legs and tail.

Her eyes were glued together with thick green pus and she was unsteady on her back end.

The veterinary team who looked at her also said she was whimpering in distress and was tirelessly itching herself when she first arrived at the surgery after being rushed in by the police.

Shocking photographs were shown to the court to show the extent of the neglect

Alongside the ten year disqualification from keeping animals, which cannot be appealed for five years, Bradley was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody, 16 weeks for the animal welfare offence, and 8 weeks for breach of a suspended sentence, to run consecutively, when she appeared before the court