NEGLECTED for months and barely recognisable, three dogs have undergone an incredible transformation and found happiness with new owners.
Layer by layer, the matted, overgrown and unkempt coats on these shih-tzus were carefully shaved off by groomers to reveal the loveable dogs underneath.
Previous owner Pauline Kinghorn, 63, was banned from keeping animals for life by a court this week after the three shih-tzus were rescued from her filth-laden home in Third Row, Linton Colliery near Ashington, Northumberland.
In a video shot by the RSPCA, the dogs can be seen to have severe difficulty walking, and also seeing, as their fur was so long and matted.
They had to drag themselves along the floor using their front legs in order to move at all. The footage shows how staff worked carefully to remove the matted coats step by step.
The dreadlocked hair on the dogs was described as one of the worst cases seen by an expert dog groomer, but staff managed to transform the animals.
RSPCA inspector Trevor Walker said: “The dogs have been re-homed by the Hexham branch and are in three homes in and around the Hexham area.
“Apparently, they meet up on a regular basis when they have the local shows and the three go and compete against each other.
“I removed them from Kinghorn’s home on April 6 and from then they had a period of rehabilitation after the clipping. I expect they have been in their new homes for four to five months.”
On Thursday, magistrates in Bedlington heard the shih-tzus had been neglected for up to six months and an elderly German Shepherd dog was in such poor health it had to be put down.
Kinghorn was handed a lifetime disqualification from keeping animals. She was also given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a two-month curfew order, which involves having to stay home between 7pm and 7am and being electronically tagged.
In addition, she was ordered to pay £250 towards the RSPCA’s costs and the magistrates ordered the transfer of all of her animals to the charity.
Kinghorn – who was banned from owning cats for five years in 2003 – admitted causing unnecessary suffering. She also admitted four charges of failing to ensure the welfare of the four dogs and 12 cats in her care.