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Dog neglected by couple rescued after jumping into police car in Lancashire

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A neglected Staffordshire bull terrier with a severe skin condition was rescued after jumping into the back of a police car, magistrates in Burnley have heard.

The Staffie, called Sky, was running in the road and ran in front of a police car on June 3 this year. The police officer got out and when she opened her door, Sky jumped in.

Sky, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Sky, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

She was suffering from a severe skin condition which had resulted in a large rash on the back end of her body and her legs, which had developed into cysts.

The police contacted the RSPCA, who began investigating how Sky got into such a poor condition.

Sky’s owners - Leanne Ashworth and Ian Boyes, both of Sycamore Avenue, Burnley, were convicted in their absence of causing unnecessary suffering to Sky, at Burnley Magistrates’ Court last Thursday after failing to attend the hearing.

They were sentenced on Monday after a warrant for their arrest was made by the magistrates.

Sky

Sky

At their sentencing, both were disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Boyes was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and Ashworth was given a 42-day curfew, between the hours of 10pm and 6am.

They were also told to pay costs of £250 and an £85 victim surcharge.

RSPCA inspector Lyndsey Taylor, who investigated the case, said: “Sky was suffering from severe skin condition which resulted in lumps and cysts, and her skin was red raw and bleeding. She must have been so uncomfortable with it.

“Sky’s situation came to light after she was running stray in the road and in front of a police car. When the officer stopped and opened the car door to get out, Sky jumped in. It was immediately obvious she was suffering. She was taken to a police station and we were called.”

The RSPCA traced Ashworth and Boyes as the owners of Sky.

Inspector Taylor said: “They said they were aware of the condition and had tried to treat it using medicated shampoo but she had not been to a vets recently. This was a condition which needed veterinary treatment as it was so severe.

“When I took Sky to a vet to have it looked at, they said it was entirely preventable and that she had been suffering as a result.”

Magistrates ordered that Sky be signed over into the RSPCA’s care. The seven-year-old is now in the care of a branch where her condition has improved.

“She is still healing but she looks and feels so much better,” said Inspector Taylor.

Boyes and Ashworth's solicitor, in mitigation, told the court that it was due to financial reasons that Sky did not get the treatment she needed.