Poppy, a 13-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, was left struggling to walk under the weight of her own hair, which had become so matted it had formed long, heavy dreadlocks. The RSPCA found out about her after a call from a concerned member of the public. RSPCA inspector Beth Boyd was reportedly “shocked” when the saw Poppy’s state.
“Poppy was completely covered in dreadlocks on every part of her body – she was even struggling to walk because of all the dreadlocks,” she said.
Owner Paul Padmore, 58, of Willenhall, West Midlands, admitted he had never groomed her in years – the entire time he’d had her.
“Not only was her fur in a poor condition, but also her claws were overgrown,” Boyd said. “Initially she was quite aggressive but as soon as we got her to a vet her temperament changed completely and she became gentler to handle. She was clearly very uncomfortable.”
When the matted hair was shaved off, it was found to weight a total of about two kilos – a lot of weight to carry for such a tiny dog. The dreadlocks were as long as 13.5 inches.
“This was purely long-term neglect,” Inspector Boyd added. “There is no excuse for a dog to be left in this condition. It would have made her quality of life virtually non-existent.”
On 4 December, Padmore pleaded guilty to failing to meet Poppy’s needs. He was disqualified from keeping animals for life, given a six-week community order, and ordered to pay up a total of £185 in costs and victim surcharge.
By then Poppy, who’d been signed over to the RSPCA, had been rehomed – but she only got to enjoy a short time with a loving new owner. She developed a serious spinal injury only weeks into her new life, and had to be put to sleep on humane grounds.
Boyd sad, “It’s sad that she died so soon after going to a new home, but she spent her last few weeks with a loving owner.”