The owner of an elderly collie has been banned from keeping animals for seven years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering towards the end of the dog’s life.

Brenda Bateman, 43, of Meyrick Street, Pembroke Dock, appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Monday.

She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog called Jess between June 27 and October 27, 2016, by failing to provide veterinary care for the animal’s conditions, which included arthritis and atopic dermatitis, and failing to trim the dog’s overgrown nails.

Jon Tarrant, prosecuting, handed pictures of Jess to the bench, stating that an RSPCA inspector called at Bateman’s home following a complaint about an animal in a poor condition.

He said: “He eventually spoke to Mrs Bateman who said her dog was in a bad way and needed to go.”

She told the inspector that she was aware Jess’ nails were overgrown, but said the dog would not let her trim them.

Consent was given to put the 16 year-old dog to sleep.

Mr Tarrant added that the dog’s skin had a strong odour and was inflamed where she had been scratching.

He said: “The animal had been attacking the area for such a long time that the hair had gone and the skin was inflamed and reddened.

“Her nails were severely over grown and were curling under the footpad. The dog had a stilted gait as the nails made it painful to walk.”

A vet described Jess as being in a chronic condition which had gone on for at least four months, and it was her opinion that there had been prolonged unnecessary suffering.

In interview, Bateman stated that she was having trouble keeping her family’s heads above water, and was anxious about taking Jess to the vet in case she had to be put to sleep.

She added that she had been dealing with eviction and mental health issues.

Bateman, who represented herself, told the court that she had attempted to treat Jess at home.

She said: “Basically, life was a mess, and that’s the truth.

“I go to bed and I think of my Jess. Jess did have a good home, I had her for 15 years.

“It’s been a long, hard road.”

Magistrates banned Bateman from keeping animals for seven years and fined her £220.

She was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “This dog obviously suffered serious distress in the last months of its life.

He added: “It’s a clear message that animals must be cared for towards the end of their lives.”