Ellis iA Cwmbran man has been disqualified from keeping any animal for five years after failing to provide urgent veterinary care for a Staffordshire bull terrier, who was riddled with fleas, had chronic ear disease and serious skin problems.

Philip James Ellis, 41, of Beaumaris Houses, Llanyravon, pleaded guilty to two Animal Welfare Act offences at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court on Monday (7 January).

He was also fined £120 and told to pay £85 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

The RSPCA was contacted after reports that the dog had been seen with a nasty flea infestation.

Officers from the charity attended the Cwmbran property in September with Gwent Police, and found Troy with fur loss to his back end and tail, swollen ears and with his head shaking vigorously.

Veterinary inspection later confirmed that Ellis’ failure to ensure necessary treatment, care and attention for his dog’s flea infestation and skin disease caused suffering unnecessarily.

Troy’s ear disease was advanced and had been present for a long period of time. Ellis also admitted failing to meet the needs of Troy by ensuring adequate or effective veterinary attention for this problem.

The dog’s skin problems were also causing intense itching; but by the second week of treatment after veterinary intervention, improvements and response to treatment were already evident.

Fortunately, Troy is now in the care of the RSPCA, with animal centre staff working tirelessly to support behavioural challenges and make him ready for rehoming in the future.

Elaine Spence, RSPCA chief inspector for South East Wales, said: “Owning an animal is a privilege – but this man’s failure to ensure appropriate veterinary care meant that was clearly not appreciated in this case.

“A simple visit to the vets could have spared Troy such a difficult time. Sadly, the state of his flea infestation and skin problems were very serious and vets were clear that suffering had taken place as a result.

“Troy’s ear disease was advanced, and the clinical signs were severe enough that – shockingly – permanent damage to the ear canals is a distinct possibility.

“The owner should have sought veterinary advice – and it is unacceptable he failed to do so for so long.

“Thankfully, this Staffordshire bull terrier is now in RSPCA care; and we’re working tirelessly to ensure this dog can go up for rehoming in the future and get a second chance of happiness.”