Dog owner Lorraine Edwards, 31, faces arrest over neglect

First published in News by , Court reporter

A WOMAN failed to appear in court on neglect charges after her pet dog was spotted in pain and limping in a city street.

Phil Brown, prosecuting at York Magistrates Court, said Bobby the white English terrier had open weeping wounds, multiple sores and an injured paw when it was spotted by a member of the public who alerted the RSPCA.

Pete Crossan, of Minster Vets, told the animal charity the dog must have been suffering from some of the wounds for at least two weeks and that its pain would have been obvious to a caring owner.

Lorraine Edwards, 31, of Etty Avenue, Tang Hall, did not turn up for her trial on a charge of animal cruelty and was convicted in her absence. She had denied the charge at an earlier hearing. Magistrates issued a warrant for her arrest.

Mr Brown, on behalf of the RSPCA, said the dog was spotted on March 29 wandering in Tang Hall. The animal had his name, address and a contact telephone number on a collar round his neck.

The RSPCA rang the number and spoke to Edwards.

“She was relieved that her dog had been recovered. She was worried some travellers had taken it into possession,” said Mr Brown.

But when an RSPCA inspector called the next day to interview Edwards under caution about the way she had cared for the dog, she and her partner became angry. She later calmed down and, in the interview, said she had been struggling for money.

The dog had been seen by vets in November 2012 and treated for a skin condition, and she showed the inspector two medications she had got since from a pet shop and a chemists, one of which was an antiseptic intended for humans, not dogs.

Edwards’ solicitor, Mark Partridge, said she had mental health problems following family problems including a bereavement.

He had last seen her in September and left the court before the trial began because he did not have instructions from her.

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