THREE members of the same family have been jailed leaving their dog’s leg fracture and long-standing chronic dental disease untreated.

Anthony, John and Merrissa Sellars were sentenced to twelve weeks in prison and given lifetime bans on keeping animals.

Their pet Bing, a lurcher, was so unwell he could not longer be treated by a vet and had to be put down.

An investigation was launched after RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws was called to investigate reports of a severely sick dog at an address in Chopwell, Gateshead, in May.

She found Bing in severe pain with a broken leg, underweight and severely decayed teeth.

Insp Keogh-Laws said: “The condition poor Bing was in was shocking and he was clearly in terrible pain.

“ His left hind leg was visibly swollen and appeared at least three times the size of his other hind leg. The poor boy couldn’t bear any weight on it. He was also underweight as I was able to clearly see his ribs, hips and spine. They claimed they had taken Bing to a vet, but when I looked into this, the vet had no record of him being brought in for treatment.”

Anthony Sellars, 49, John Sellars , 21, and Merrissa Sellars, 29, of Clyde Street, Chopwell, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and were sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Insp Keogh-Laws said: “When I took poor Bing to the vet myself, he found a severe and untreated leg fracture which would have been causing Bing intense pain since he became injured, along with chronic, untreatable dental disease which would have required extracting all his teeth.

“He was also severely underweight. He was suffering so much the vet decided that sadly, the kindest option was to put Bing to sleep.”

Bing was a white and brindle male neutered lurcher, aged between 12-14 years old and had been owned by the family from the age of one.

Insp Keogh-Laws added: “This has been a tragic case which never should have happened.

“Bing was in his later years of life and should have been treated with love, kindness and been given the care that he desperately needed.

He could have been spared this unnecessary suffering if only his owners had taken him to a vet when they realised he was injured.

“We were only made aware of poor Bing’s situation thanks to the person that called us, so we would always urge anyone with concerns about the welfare of an animal to contact our cruelty hotline on 0300 1234 999 so we can look into it.”