North Shields man banned from having pets after vets remove 14 rotting teeth from his dog

The Bichon Frise dogs were kept in poor condition. Credit: RSPCA

A North Shields man has been banned from keeping pets after he left his dogs with severely rotting teeth and fur matted with faeces.

Paul Smith, 67, failed to seek veterinary help for his dogs Molly and Bobby who were rescued from his Percy Court home by the RSPCA in January 2023.

Bobby, 7, had severe dental disease that 14 of his teeth had to be removed, while 11-year-old Molly’s coat was so badly matted that every movement tugged on her skin and she was unable to see out of her left eye.

Smith also neglected his Chinese water dragon called Charlie, who had an injury to the tip of his tail.

Nearly half a kilo of dirty matted fur was shaved off by the veterinary team. Credit: RSPCA.

A RSPCA animal rescue officer gave evidence at a hearing at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 27 April about going to Smith's property after the charity had received reports about the animals’ welfare.

During the visit on 15 January, Heather Wade said: “There was an extremely unpleasant smell throughout the property and no flooring on either the hallway or living area floor. The house appeared run down, messy and very dirty with a brown grime over most surfaces.

“In the living area there were two dogs which Mr Smith informed me were Molly and Bobby.  Both dogs looked as though they should have been white in colour, but had patches of brown matted fur all over their face and bodies."

Bobby was only left with three premolars in the left hand side of his lower jaw after the vets removed his rotting teeth. Credit: RSPCA

When asked in court when the dogs had last been seen by a groomer or vet, Smith said he could not remember, and his defence claimed that he was in poor health and had been dealing with several personal issues.

Bobby has received ongoing treatment in RSPCA care and has made a good recovery, but unfortunately Charlie and Molly were put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Molly had Cushing’s disease and had stopped eating, with tests showing a deterioration in her renal function, while Charlie also had severe mouth rot to his nose and upper and lower jaw on both sides.

Smith was given a suspended eight-week prison sentence and was banned from keeping dogs and reptiles for two years.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Helen Bestwick, said: “All three animals were clearly in a terrible and unacceptable state and this would have been obvious to their owner for months, yet veterinary help had not been sought.

"It’s imperative that people reach out and ask for support at an early stage, rather than letting animals suffer unnecessary neglect in circumstances like this.” 

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