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Lina Jones, 72, from Gwelfor in Llanelli, Wales, insisted to an RSPCA inspector there had been “nothing wrong” with her terrier Trixie. But Inspector Keither Hogben’s investigation revealed a history of cruel neglect on the poor animal. Trixie had “suffered unnecessarily for months” before she was put down.

The state Ms Jones had kept her pet in meant the blood supply to the dog’s leg had been cut off because her fur was so matted – turning her foot black.

Parts of her skin was “cheese wired” by bands of hair and matting which cut into the flesh, with RSPCA Cymru describing the damage as “irreparable”.

The poor animal’s coat was so severely matted she could not see properly.

Trixie’s plight was revealed after Ms Jones took her to veterinary charity the PDSA in Swansea in January.

On the basis of her welfare, Trixie was put to sleep and Ms Jones took her body away.

But photos and medical notes of her suffering were still available, and the RSPCA was contacted.

When Mr Hogben visited Jones at her home the following week, she denied any wrongdoing, even stating there had been nothing wrong with Trixie.

Mr Hogben said: “I introduced myself and said I was there as we had received an allegation of neglect about a dog named Trixie.

“Linda Jones informed me that Trixie had not been neglected and there was nothing wrong with her.

“I explained that a vet had said she had been euthanised due to her severely matted coat and an infected injury to her foot.”

Ms Jones repeated the claim that Trixie hadn’t been neglected to the RSPCA two days later, claiming the dog’s paw was bad for only two weeks, and that she intended to sort out her coat after the foot had been treated and healed.

But the vet said that Trixie could not bear weight on her left front leg, which was also foul-smelling, and she was anxious and visibly in pain.

Trixie’s pain was so bad she needed to be sedated before she could be examined.

The vet said in court: “I was able to see the skin had been ‘cheese wired’ by the bands of hair and matting and had cut into the flesh revealing her flexor tendons and underlying fascia.

“It was also possible to see bone when the limb was flexed.

“The hair I was able to remove around her pads and toes revealed black, cold skin that was becoming necrotic. I believe this is what was causing the smell.

“It looked like the limb had been tourniqueted in two places from the tight bands of matted fur. Unfortunately this had cut off the vasculature to the distal limb which had died off.

“Mrs Jones advised that the duration of lameness was about a week, suggesting Trixie had been painful enough to not use the limb for that time as a minimum.

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“In my opinion the changes to the limb had likely happened over a longer period of probably at least three weeks. This is not taking into account the discomfort Trixie would have been in with a heavily matted coat, which was likely of at least three months duration.”

Ms Jones pleaded gulty to one animal welfare offence relating to the “unnecessary suffering” caused to her dog between October 5, 2021 and January 5, 2022 at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court last Friday, April 22.

She was given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

She was also ordered to carry out 10 days of rehabilitation and told to pay £428 in costs and a surcharge.

Following the conclusion of the case, Mr Hogben said: “Sadly the basic needs of this little dog had not been met. She hadn’t been groomed regularly which resulted in a severely matted coat and a leg injury that couldn’t be treated in time to save Trixie’s life.”

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