Tia - before iAn Abertillery couple have been fined after their dog was found straying in a “woeful condition”, with the owners’ failure to secure earlier, urgent treatment causing the crossbreed to suffer.

Both Andrew Morris, 58, and Susan Lillian Morris, 56, pleaded guilty to two Animal Welfare Act offences at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court last Monday (10 June) concerning the dog, named Tia.

They were tracked down after the stray dog’s microchip was scanned.

Sadly, vets had found the dog to be in a very poor condition, and in distress – due to malnourishment and an untreated skin condition. Tests found skin inflammation had likely to have been evident on the dog for at least three weeks, and possibly considerably longer.

Tia’s condition left her walking in an abnormal manner because of weakness and loss of muscle, while her hind limbs, ribs and shoulder bones were protruding through her skin.

Each was fined £80, ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

An RSPCA officer says “it beggars belief” that the owners hadn’t ensured veterinary care sooner for the dog; and it took a member of the public to find the dog straying to get Tia veterinary help.

RSPCA inspector Gemma Black said: “This poor dog was found in a woeful condition, with very bad skin. Tia was clearly very distressed and was painfully skinny.

“It beggars belief that her owners had not thought to take her to a vets. She would have experienced such discomfort, pain and suffering over a prolonged period, and it is sad to think how easily this could have been avoided.

“This case is a clear example of why people should seek early advice and help if they are not looking after their animals properly.

“Remarkably, it was only thanks to a kind-hearted member of the public coming to her aid when she was seen straying that she got to a vet at all. Tia was microchipped and we were able to locate the owners and investigate what had happened.

“Owning a dog like Tia is a privilege, and it is so sad that this couple were so readily prepared to neglect that and not give their dog the veterinary care her sorry condition desperately needed.”