AN emaciated dog died after being found in a flat with a tumour the size of a football on one of her front legs.

Ashleigh Tolley, of Richmond Drive, Leigh was found guilty in her absence of causing unnecessary suffering to her labrador Roo when she appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

The court was told how concerned neighbours alerted the RSPCA to Tolley’s flat as they were concerned her dog had been left unattended in the property for some time.

They said they had not seen Tolley, 28, for days.

Inspector Emma Dingley was sent to the address on September 7 and knocked on the door but when she got no reply she looked through the letterbox and could see Roo collapsed on the hallway floor in her own faeces.

She was in an emaciated state and Emma could see a large tumour on one of her front legs.

Emma called the police for assistance so she could enter the property and rescue Roo.

Leigh Journal:

Roo was found with a large tumour on one of her front legs

Leigh Journal:

The state that the RSPCA found Ashleigh Tolley's flat in

Leigh Journal:

The tumour that was on one of Roo's front leg

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The poor dog was extremely cold, was too weak to stand or lift her head and Emma carried her out of the property and rushed her to the RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital.

Staff at the centre placed heat pads on Roo as she was suffering from hypothermia and gave her fluids as she was severely dehydrated.

Her body temperature was found to be just 33.8C where the normal body temperature should be around 39C.

The veins were very collapsed, which made placement of a catheter for fluid replacement very difficult.

It was thought the collapse of the veins was due to both dehydration and hypothermia.

A vet also found a large mass, approximately 12cm by 20cm which was ulcerated and would have been present for weeks causing suffering to the dog but veterinary treatment was not sought.

Emma said: “Roo was in an awful state when I went to rescue her.

"She was laid in her only faeces and couldn’t stand as she was so weak and in poor health.

“She was freezing as there was no heating in the property so I wrapped her in a blanket and comforted her.

“She was clearly starved and as I cradled her in my arms to carry her to the van she knew I was trying to help her and she tried to wag her tail. It was heartbreaking.

“Staff at the animal hospital were doing all they could to save her but she was basically dying in front of our eyes and there was nothing we could do.

"She refused to eat even though she was starving.

“Sadly the following day she had deteriorated further so the vet made the decision to put Roo to sleep to end her suffering.

“It was so upsetting for us all - I just take some comfort from the fact she had kind people with her when she died and was not frightened and alone in the flat.

“This was a very upsetting case to deal with and there is never any excuse to abandon a pet - particularly in such a callous way.”

Tolley was banned from keeping all animals for five years, given a six-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out a 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement course.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £100 when she was sentenced on February 25.