A MUM who was lumbered with the care of a dog she came to ‘love’ has been convicted for letting its eye defect fester.

The RSPCA prosecuted Emma Hendy yesterday, after Flake the Shar Pei dog was left to suffer for months with a painful condition called entropion.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard Hendy took responsibility for Flake after its owner, a friend who used to stay with her, left it at her house.

The 36-year-old, of Angus Court in Thame, inhaled with shock yesterday as she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Shaking her head in the dock the mother-of-two, who has no previous convictions, said: "What a joke, it's silly. This is absolutely ridiculous."

The court heard the dog's owner Ben Braham, of Hamden Avenue in Thame, took Flake to a vet in October 2017 after its eye kept weeping.


Man kicked in head and left for dead in Abingdon

It was diagnosed with entropion and prescribed medication, but he was told he must bring the dog back for surgery to cure the condition.

Hendy, who said Braham left Flake to live with her and her sons, said she thought the dog had an eye infection and repeatedly 'bugged' Braham to get it sorted.

She said she eventually took it to a vet's herself after he ignored her pleas, but was told only the dog's owner could arrange treatment.

Despite urging Braham again to either sort treatment or assign ownership to her, Flake remained untreated and by May 2018 had developed a 'chronic' case.

A vet's statement read to the court said: "[Entropian] causes constant pain...The eyelid rubs over the eye and [in Flake's case] had caused a large ulcer.

"Left untreated, it could lead to a rupture or loss of eyesight."

Braham was also charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, but did not appear in court yesterday, having already pleaded guilty.


Woman attacked by thugs on bikes for phone

Hendy, who pleaded not guilty, said Flake's owner became a 'shoulder to cry on' as she dealt with a tragic loss.

She explained she and her sons returned home from a holiday in August 2017, to find a close friend dead in their house.

She said she fell into 'a deep dark hole' emotionally and Braham would stay on the sofa regularly with Flake to keep her company.

Hendy said she said she and her boys 'fell in love' with the pet, and she took responsibility for looking after him when Braham's visits fizzled out.

She told the court: "Ben didn't really care about the dog. He would pick him up and literally just dump him back on me.

"He [Flake] was happy as Larry, running around with my kids.

"It wasn't sat in the corner yelping or crying, he was a very lively dog."

She said she would bathe Flake's eye when it wept but 'didn't feel he was in distress.'

Hendy said she sought advice from a PCSO as well as the Blue Cross animal charity as to how she could get proper care for Flake, given she was not his owner and was not in a financial position to pay for any treatment, and felt she did all she could 'under the circumstances.'

Robert Borwick, representing the RSPCA in court, said she 'should have done more' such as report the case to the RSPCA, PDSA or take the dog to a police station.


RSPCA receives 1,340 calls about baby birds

Flake came to the charity's attention after he was found alone in Thame, having ran off.

He has since had the surgery and has been rehomed.

Delivering the guilty verdict yesterday, presiding magistrate Stephen Vickers said: "You knew this injury would eventually result in greater damage to the eye and you didn't take action to prevent further suffering.

"You had responsibility of the animal for several months and while you were humane in some ways, you didn't do as much as you could have done."

Dr Vickers denied the RSPCA's call for a temporary ban on Hendy owning dogs in future, but fined her £640 including court costs and a victim surcharge.

Braham, 26, will be sentenced at a later date.