A dog owner has been banned from keeping animals for five years after his ungroomed Russian Terrier was left suffering with 17lbs of filthy matted fur.
Owner Tim Springett did not groom his dog Barney for nearly two years, claiming he thought his pet did not need clipping due to its breed, a court heart.
The Russian Terrier was left carrying an extra 21 per cent of its body weight, with dirt and faeces found matted into its fur by staff at the RSPCA.
The charity said Barney was seized by Kent Police after animal welfare workers made several attempts to encourage Springett to have the dog groomed.
Springett, of Ramsgate, Kent, later pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at Margate Magistrates Court on 22 January.
Investigating RSPCA Inspector Tina Nash said the smell of the Russian Terrier made her “want to retch” when she found him.
She told the court: “The dog had been made to support a coat weighing approximately 21 per cent of his body weight as he moved around. The weight of this coat would have risen considerably when the dog was wet.
“The dog didn’t smell very nice and made me want to retch. I’m in no doubt the extra weight would cause the animal physical stress as he moved.
“It’s my professional opinion, based on the information provided to me, that the person responsible for the care of the dog had failed to provide the dog with a sheltered sleeping area with bedding. The person had also failed to groom the dog over many months and, as a consequence, had left him in a position where he was likely to suffer.”
In his defence, Springett said he loved dogs and that his ill-health was behind the issues.
He was handed a 12 month community order including 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and ordered to pay £400 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge. He was also banned from keeping all animals for five years.
The animal is now being looked after by the RSPCA, where he is currently in private boarding and will soon be made available for re-homing.