Northumberland woman given 10-year animal ban after neglecting dog

Lilly had been badly neglected.
Lilly had been badly neglected.

A woman who failed to seek medical attention for her dog – which had a large tumour tied together with string – has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Melanie Elizabeth Raymond, 54, of Collingwood Close, Cramlington, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to her Labrador-cross under s9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The case was brought to court by Northumberland County Council. When one of the authority’s animal welfare officers found the dog last year, its skin was red raw and it had little fur left on it.

The stricken dog had a large tumour – 20cm in length – between her back legs which was tied up with string and almost touched the ground when she walked. Her nails were also severely overgrown.

Thankfully, she was plucked from despair by the animal welfare team and handed into the loving arms of Alnwick-based dog sanctuary SHAK, as reported by the Gazette last summer.

So bad was her condition, that the charity’s founder, Stephen Wylie, described it as one of the worst cases of neglect/mistreatment he had ever seen.

The dog, named Lilly by her rescuers, has made a full recovery and has since been re-homed with a man in north Northumberland – and is loving life again.

The animal welfare officer who found Lilly said: “When I first saw the dog I was appalled at the condition she was in and she had obviously been in great discomfort for quite some time.

“We seized the dog and took her to St Clair Veterinary Care, in Blyth, where she was given antibiotics and steroids and where she returned at a later date for surgery on her tumour. ”

Raymond was sentenced at the magistrates’ court in Bedlington on Monday. As well as the ban, she was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid community service work and was fined £626.

Mr Wylie said: “While I am a firm believer that stiffer sentences are desperately needed for those that inflict such terrible suffering to any animal, it is great that a little justice has been served.

“Lilly is such a loving soul that didn’t deserve to face such neglect, but we have found her the perfect companion now, and that’s what really matters.”

Lilly also features in a charity calendar featuring dogs rescued in Northumberland, with all the proceeds going to SHAK, Alexa’s Animals, BARK and The Dog’s Trust.

The calendars are available for a minimum donation of £3.99 from council information centres or call 0345 6006400.