Hatfield woman banned from keeping animals for life

A WOMAN has narrowly avoided jail and been banned from keeping animals for life after failing to treat her pet dog for a severe skin condition.

Margaret Hewison neglected Tammy so badly that her eyeballs protruded from her head on stalks and she smelled like a corpse.

Her terrible plight was reported to the RSPCA after ambulance crews attended the block of flats in which she lived and detected the odour of something they likened to that of a dead body.

RSPCA inspector Will Rippon, who investigated the case, said: “This dog was in the worst state of prolonged suffering that I have ever seen.”

Matted fur

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Graphic images of the black and white Shih-Tzu, showing her ears and head encased with matted fur, were made available to the Welwyn Hatfield Times by the RSPCA.

Other photographs illustrate how the infection caused her eyelids to shrink and scar, creating the impression that her eyeballs stuck out on stalks.

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Many of the pictures were too horrific to show in this newspaper.

Mr Rippon added: “The photographs cannot do justice to the shock of lifting up the matted fur at the front of Tammy’s face and finding her eyes out on stalks.”

Her condition was so dreadful that the vet who examined her ultimately decided there was no option but to put her to sleep.

The RSPCA subsequently prosecuted Hewison, of Wrestlers Close, Hatfield, for failing to provide adequate grooming and failing to provide adequate veterinary treatment for a skin infection.

And on Tuesday of last week, the 55-year-old appeared before magistrates in Hemel Hempstead for sentencing.

Having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, Hewison was given an 18 week suspended jail term and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

She was also fined �1,024.74 and banned from keeping animals for the rest of her life.

In mitigation Hewison said she had not taken Tammy to see a vet because she could not afford it.

She also told the court she was truly sorry for what she had done.

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