Neglected dog found with 'fleas crawling over her body' in Cornwall dies

Ruby was found in a terrible state by the RSPCA and only weighed 10kg. Credit: RSPCA

A 12-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier has died after being found in an 'emaciated state' and with 'fleas crawling over her body'.

Ruby was in desperate need of care when she was rescued by the RSPCA from an address in Cornwall. The charity had been contacted with concerns about the welfare of a dog.

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Morris said: “She also had a long dangling growth hanging from her stomach which was approximately five inches long which looked swollen and sore.

"Her feet also appeared red and swollen and she had a pungent smell about her. Her ears also appeared to be blocked and filthy inside.”

Vets examined Ruby and concluded she was in such a severe condition she was suffering as a result. She only weighed 10.1kg.

Ruby had been neglected by her owners when the charity rescued her Credit: RSPCA

In her report, the vet said Ruby had experienced a “prolonged period of neglect” and had not received the veterinary treatment she needed.

The report reads: “On clinical examination, Ruby showed evidence of chronic skin disease. The skin showed changes consistent with disease that had been present for a long period of time with thickening and lichenification of her neck and limbs.

“The skin over her entire body felt greasy and there was scabbing present. There was generalised loss of the hair and thinning of any area where hair did remain."

The vet also noted that she had blocked ears that had been left untreated and that when offered food Ruby was ravenous and continued to look for food even once feeding had stopped.

Ruby was taken to RSPCA Cornwall’s Venton Animal Centre and fostered by one of the team.

During the months she spent in the foster home, she gained weight and strength but fell ill with pyometra; an infection of the uterus caused by not being spayed, and died.

Following an investigation by the RSCPA, a father and son from Saltash were handed animal bans and suspended prison sentences at Plymouth Magistrates Court on 12 September 2022.

Michael Breed, 75, and Ashley Breed, 27, both of Hodge Close in Saltash, admitted neglecting their dog.

Both were sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 16 months, and disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years.

The court ordered that the men cannot appeal for their animal disqualifications to be lifted for at least five years. The court heard they did not intentionally set out to harm Ruby.