A HEREFORD woman who told vets her seriously ill puppy was a stray has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Wendie Bowley told a veterinary receptionist that six-month-old Rory had been found in a garden after bringing him into the surgery in a bloodstained sheet with infected sores over his back and face and barely able to open his eyes.

The young border-terrier type dog had been suffering with the painful condition for at least half his young life, Hereford Magistrates’ Court was told this week.

Prosecutor Nick Sutton said 44-year-old Bowley, of Green Croft in Redhill, South Wye, had initially taken the pet to a surgery on March 15 despite owing the practice money dating back nine years.

She was advised to seek PDSA help – the animal charity that offers to pay for treatment if owners are struggling – but didn’t.

She returned the following day when Rory received first aid.

But Mr Sutton said 11 days later Bowley took the dog to The Laurels surgery in Whitecross, Hereford, wrapping him in a blanket with blood on it. Again she said she had found him in a garden.

The prosecutor said the defendant has since signed the dog over to the RSPCA.

Bowley admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

At a court hearing last week Chris Read, defending Bowley, said his client had initially tried to treat Rory herself.

“It’s not the case that Mrs Bowley ignored the situation,” said Mr Read during the hearing on November 6.

“Clearly the dog was suffering, but Wendie Bowley wasn’t simply being cruel. She tried her best to deal with a situation to the best of her ability.”

She was banned from keeping animals for a decade and given a sixmonth community order and ordered to pay costs of £175.

Speaking afterwards, RSPCA Inspector Pippa Boyd said she was pleased with the outcome.

“There is no excuse to allow a dog to be in that condition for such an extended period.

“I am pleased to say the dog is now back to a happy and healthy condition and has been re-homed.”