A CARE home worker whose neglect caused a dog months of suffering and pain has has been banned from keeping any animal for the rest of her life.

Jean Audrey Simpson, 61, was also given a 12-week suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to neglecting her son’s Bichon Frise.

Phil Brown, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said by the time the animal charity took the dog in, Oscar was virtually blind, its ears were too painful to touch, it needed 17 teeth removing, a vet had to remove nearly a kilogram of matted fur and its skin was inflamed.

York magistrates told Simpson: “You neglected Oscar, causing him considerable suffering over a period of at least nine months and possibly as long as three years.”

They took into account that Simpson herself contacted the RSPCA about the animal’s condition, but told her she should have sought expert help for the dog long before she did.

Simpson, of Milton Avenue, Malton, did not contest the lifelong ban on keeping animals. She had looked after Oscar for three years.

RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper said: “The vet said she believed it would have taken around two years for Oscar to have ended up in that matted state and that his ear and eye infections had been present for six to 12 months.

“These were all health problems that could have been quickly and easily treated if his owner had taken him for veterinary treatment and had him groomed regularly.”

Simpson’s solicitor Elizabeth Aisbitt said: “She has no intention of owning animals again.

“She found herself in a position where she was left looking after a dog that didn’t belong to her.

“A combination of mental health and financial difficulties experienced at the time led to the level of care provided to the dog not being adequate.”

The dog had originally belonged to Simpson’s son, but when he was given a lengthy prison sentence, she was left to care for it.

Mrs Aisbitt said Simpson had been sectioned in the past and was on medication.

She was remorseful for what had happened to the dog and had tried to treat its problems herself.

Insp Cooper said: “Oscar has lost an eye and will need medication for the rest of his life but he’s been lucky enough to find a new home with a wonderful couple who absolutely adore him.

“I appreciate that Ms Simpson didn’t plan on having a dog and that she couldn’t afford to treat him when he needed veterinary care. However, anyone who is struggling to care for their animals needs to ask for help so animals are not left to suffer.”