A WOMAN has been banned from keeping animals after she left a bulldog to live a messy yard full of rubbish and a mouldy sofa.

British bulldog Royston was underweight, had skin and ear conditions and was living in a cluttered yard full of hazards when the RSPCA rescue him from a property in Stanley, County Durham.

The Northern Echo:

His owner, Lauren Jane Eliot, of Thomas Street, Annfield Plain, Stanley, was last week banned from keeping animals for five years after she was convicted of one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

The 22-year-old had failed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday but was convicted, in absence, of not taking reasonable steps to ensure the dog's needs for a suitable environment were met and not seeking veterinary attention therefore failing to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease between August 7 and 28, 2019.

The Northern Echo:

RSPCA inspector Cathy Maddison said: “I had been to this property in April and given advice to the couple living there to clean up the yard where they said Royston - an 18-month-old British bulldog - was living in the daytime.

“I got another call about him in August and when I went the situation had deteriorated.

"Royston was lying on a mouldy sofa in the yard, which was full of hazards.

"He had lost weight, had red skin and his nails were long.

The Northern Echo:

“Eliot said she was taking him to the vets so I advised that needed to happen and the yard needed to be tidied up but unfortunately when I went back over a week later neither had.

“The yard was even worse, with faeces everywhere, and the shed Royston was using for shelter had been filled with chairs so his only resting place was the now very wet sofa.

“Eliot agreed I could take Royston to the vets to be checked over where he was found to be underweight.

The Northern Echo:

"The skin under his chin and neck appeared red raw, his ears were very dirty and he smelled bad.

"He was taken into possession by police on vet advice and placed in our care pending the outcome of our investigation.”

The court heard that the defendant had been left with the dog when she broke up with her partner and was not in a position to care for him.

As well as the disqualification order, she was deprived of Royston, fined £180 and ordered to pay £188 costs and £32 victim surcharge.

The Northern Echo:

Inspector Maddison said: “Royston is now fully recovered and doing great.

"He’s a fantastic dog, and I’m really happy that we’ll now be able to find a fantastic new forever home for him.”