ANIMAL campaigners want to ban a Malton woman from caring for any animal because she caused a dog months of agony through neglect.

Phil Brown, prosecuting, said by the time Jean Audrey Simpson, 61, called in the RSPCA, her Bichon Frise was virtually blind, its ears were so painful they could not be touched and it had to have 17 teeth removed.

Its hair was so matted after years of not being groomed properly, a vet had to remove nearly a kilogram of it and underneath, it had inflamed skin.

Simpson had shown the RSPCA inspector what appeared to be an untidy pile of blankets in her house.

“It was difficult to ascertain that it was a dog until the animal started to move and whimper,” said the solicitor on behalf of the RSPCA.

After putting the dog on the road to recovery, vet Sarah Hunter told the RSPCA: “She would have grave concerns about this defendant’s ability to look after any animal properly,” he said.

Simpson, of Milton Avenue, Malton, pleaded guilty to animal neglect and her case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

York magistrates warned her they would consider all options including jailing her when she is sentenced. They will also consider the RSPCA’s request for a ban on her keeping any animals.

For her, Elizabeth Aisbitt said she had been “landed” with the dog when her son was jailed three years ago.

She had had no intention of having an animal at the time, and did not intend to have another one.

She was suffering from mental illness and could not afford to take it to the vet, said the defence lawyer. Instead, she had used home remedies to try to remedy its problems.

Mr Brown said the dog has now been rehomed by the RSPCA and is considerably better, though it is likely to have long term health issues.

The vet estimated the dog would have been in extreme pain for months and that the matted hair would have made it “extremely uncomfortable” for two years.