A NEGLECTED dog which had to be immediately euthanised to end its suffering was left in a condition described by a vet as the “worst they have ever seen.”

Joanne Parkhurst, 46, failed to get help for two of her Staffordshire bull terriers, Fats and Boycie, to treat their skin diseases.

An RSPCA inspector visited her home in Berkley Close, Colchester, on July 18, finding rubbish piled high in the garden before venturing into the property to check on the welfare of the dogs.

Lauren Bond, prosecuting at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said: “The inspector observed Fats to be quite underweight, with hair loss at the rear, scabs and red sores on his skin, long nails, large testicles hanging lower than usual and discharge dripping from his mouth.

“His teeth were rotten and a green gunk discharge was present, while the smell was overpowering.

“She said his testicles had been in that condition for six months.

“She stated she had called the RSPCA and asked for help, stated the RSPCA had asked for £100 and she said she couldn’t afford it.

“Enquiries were made with the RSPCA and it was established they never asked for £100, they would always help any animal in need.

“There was no records of the calls.

“Boycie was in a slim body condition but was alert and responsive.

“There was fur missing from his rear end, his skin appeared sore, red and scabby.

“The defendant said he had been like that for six weeks.

“There was a third dog, Sasha, who appeared bright, alert and responsive.”

Fats and Boyce were examined by a vet, who cited the condition of Fats as the worst they had ever seen.

Fats had a severe jaw bone infection, skin disease and an untreated tumour on his testicle.

The smell was described as “horrendous” and a score on the dog’s body condition was given as two out of ten.

Miss Bond said: “He was euthanised on humane grounds with the consent of the defendant.”

Boycie was treated for skin diseases, with the dog’s skin “scabbing badly” and given a condition rating of four out of ten.

He has since made a recovery and remains in the care of the RSPCA.

Parkhurst was charged with and admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Magistrates were shown “horrifying” pictures of the dogs’ condition.

Frank O’Toole, mitigating, said: “This lady was involved in a custody battle for some time over her grandchildren which caused a fair amount of chaos in her family life.

“She does believe it impacted on her ability to properly look after the dogs. It is not an excuse, but an explanation as to how this happened.

“I have seen the photos and to describe them as appalling is an understatement.

“This lady has no previous convictions for animal cruelty.”

Don Wicks, chairman of the bench, sentenced Parkhurst to 18 weeks imprisonment, suspended for a year. He ordered her to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and banned her from owning any animal for ten years.

Parkhurst must give up custody of Sasha and three cats to the RSPCA.

“We are horrified by the photographs we have been shown,” said Mr Wicks.