AN ex-couple who neglected a sick pet shih tzu and let it suffer have been banned from keeping dogs.

David Powell and his ex-partner Kate Powell, both from Blaenavon, failed to arrange treatment for Alfie, who was unable to move or even lift his head when found by the RSPCA and had to be put down by a vet, a court heard.

Cwmbran magistrates were told that RSPCA inspector David Milborrow attended the man’s home at James Street, Bleanavon on September 7, 2021, and met Kate Powell who said she had not been there in about a year, but had heard that Alfie was not in a good way.

Her dogs Marley and Alfie were living at the James Street property with her ex-husband, and inside Inspector Milborrow saw the 14-year-old Shih Tzu lying flat on its side on a dog bed at the end of the sofa.

“The dog had significant fur loss on his legs, head and flanks,” he said. “The fur that he did have would have been pale or white if it were clean, however it was filthy, wet and matted.

“The patches of skin that I could see were red and sore looking with small open and pussy wounds. His legs were twitching slightly but he did not appear able to move or even lift his head.”

Inspector Milborrow told Kate Powell he needed to get Alfie to a vet immediately, which she agreed to while appearing “extremely upset and crying uncontrollably”.

An independent emergency vet confirmed that Alfie was suffering and there was no treatment that could be prescribed, and recommended he should be put to sleep immediately to prevent further suffering.

The vet said in a witness statement: “In my opinion there has been significant neglect over a long period of time, both in overall condition and care of the dog, but also disregard for more serious illness which needed urgent attention.”

The court heard that the dog was suffering with corneal ulceration, skin disease, anal tumours and skin wounds.

David Powell, aged 54, of James Street, Blaenavon, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Alfie, by failing to carry out necessary veterinary care and attention.

He also admitted failing to meet the needs of Alfie in respect to one or a combination of the following - appropriate body condition, need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease due to a lack of treatment for skin disease, corneal ulcer, anal tumours, causes of anaemia, skin wounds and for his collapsed state.

Powell was handed a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and must carry out 90 hours unpaid work.

He was also banned from keeping dogs for seven years and ordered to pay court penalties of £378.

Kate Powell, aged 50, of Lower Hill Street, Blaenavon, admitted the same two offences.

She was handed a five-year ban from keeping dogs and was ordered to pay £800 in a fine and surcharge.

Her other dog Marley, a brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross breed, was found to be in a good condition and was taken into RSPCA care to be rehomed.