Neglected dog’s fur was so matted her paws dissolved

Shih Tzu Lola was so badly neglected her paws dissolved under her matted fur
Poor Lola was so badly neglected her paws dissolved under her matted fur (Picture: Evening Gazette/NCJ Media)

A severely neglected dog had to be put down after her paws had ‘dissolved’ under faeces-covered matted fur, which had been left for months.

The little Shih Tzu, Lola, was left struggling to walk after the skin on her back legs had disintegrated so badly that the bone was left exposed. Her owner Carla Freer, 41, from Loftus, North Yorkshire, was banned from keeping animals for life after RSPCA inspectors found the dog in a ‘shocking condition’.
But the extent of Lola’s horrific injuries had not been discovered until it was too late, after a concerned member of the public spotted her in pain and took her to the vets.

An expert vet said that in 30 years experience – having dealt with many cases of matting where limbs had been lost – it was ‘without doubt… the worst case of a matted animal I have seen’.

RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson said: ‘Lola was in a shocking condition, her fur was extremely matted and covered in urine and faeces and she was struggling to walk.

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A dog's feet "dissolved" under her matted fur after she was neglected for months. Carla Freer, from Loftus , was slapped with a suspended prison sentence after RSPCA inspectors found her Shih Tzu dog Lola in a "shocking condition". The shocking extent of the dogs injuries were discovered when she was taken to a local vets by a concerned member of the public. RSPCA dog called Lola a women has been prosecuted
The extent of her injuries were not discovered until vets shaved all the fur off (Picture: Evening Gazette)
A dog's feet "dissolved" under her matted fur after she was neglected for months. Carla Freer, from Loftus , was slapped with a suspended prison sentence after RSPCA inspectors found her Shih Tzu dog Lola in a "shocking condition". The shocking extent of the dogs injuries were discovered when she was taken to a local vets by a concerned member of the public. RSPCA dog called Lola a women has been prosecuted
Sadly little Lola’s injuries were so severe vets thought it was best to put her down (Picture: Evening Gazette)

‘Unfortunately when vets put her under anaesthetic to clip her fur what they found was worse than anyone could have imagined.

‘Her hind feet had literally dissolved under the matting and her back legs were just stumps with exposed bone.

‘The vet decided that the only humane thing to do was to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering which took place with her owner’s consent.’

Owner Freer was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Veterinary evidence revealed it was highly likely that the matting – which in extreme cases can restrict blood supply – had caused Lola’s feet to be severely injured, the court heard.
A dog's feet "dissolved" under her matted fur after she was neglected for months. Carla Freer, from Loftus , was slapped with a suspended prison sentence after RSPCA inspectors found her Shih Tzu dog Lola in a "shocking condition". The shocking extent of the dogs injuries were discovered when she was taken to a local vets by a concerned member of the public. RSPCA dog called Lola a women has been prosecuted
Her owner was handed a suspended sentence (Picture: Evening Gazette)
The matted fur removed. A dog's feet "dissolved" under her matted fur after she was neglected for months. Carla Freer, from Loftus , was slapped with a suspended prison sentence after RSPCA inspectors found her Shih Tzu dog Lola in a "shocking condition". The shocking extent of the dogs injuries were discovered when she was taken to a local vets by a concerned member of the public. RSPCA dog called Lola a women has been prosecuted
Matting in extreme cases can restrict blood supply (Picture: Evening Gazette)
In mitigation the court was told that Freer’s personal circumstances had dramatically changed, leaving her short of time to care for Lola.

The court heard there wasn’t deliberate cruelty and Freer didn’t know the extent of the injuries or she would have acted.

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She was given a two year community with 150 hours unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation requirement days and a curfew between 8pm and 7am for eight weeks.

Freer was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge, and was disqualified from keeping all animals for life.