A DOG’S feet "dissolved" under her matted fur after she was neglected for months by her owner, a court heard.

The RSPCA was called on March 19 after Shih Tzu Lola was taken to a vet practice by a concerned member of the public.

RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson said: “Lola was in a shocking condition, her fur was extremely matted and covered in urine and faeces and she was struggling to walk.

“Unfortunately when vets put her under anaesthetic to clip her fur what they found was worse than anyone could have imagined.

“Her hind feet had literally dissolved under the matting, and her back legs were just stumps with exposed bone.

“The vet decided that the only humane thing to do was to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering which took place with her owner’s consent.”

Owner Carla Marie Freer, 41, of High Street, Loftus, North Yorkshire appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 12, after pleading guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act at a hearing last month.

The court heard veterinary evidence that it was highly likely that the matting - which in extreme cases can restrict blood supply - had caused Lola’s feet to be destroyed. The expert vet said that in 30 years experience, and dealing with many cases of matting including where limbs had been lost, it was “without doubt...the worst case of a matted animal I have seen”.

In mitigation the court was told that Freer’s personal circumstances had dramatically changed resulting in her not having so much time for Lola. It wasn’t deliberate cruelty, and she didn’t know the extent of the injuries or she would have acted.

Freer was sentenced to four months custody suspended for 24 months, a two-year community order, 150 hours unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation requirement days, a curfew between 8pm and 7am for eight weeks, ordered to pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. She was disqualified from keeping all animals for life.