A SHOCKED animal welfare inspector discovered a dog at a Poole home in the worst state he had seen in his 10 years in the job, a court was told.

RSPCA inspector Patrick Bailey was called to the address in Dewlish Close by Clare Hawkins who had serious concerns for the family’s dog, Honey.

On arrival, he found the alarming sight of the animal motionless on the floor, with the first impression that the dog looked dead.

The 19-year-old animal was rushed to vets, who confirmed Honey’s stricken state.

The tan and white bitch had to be put down after a prolonged period of suffering of at least three months.

Clare Louise Hawkins, 27, and her mother Christine Jane Hawkins, 62, both of Dewlish Close, Poole, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and were banned from keeping any animal for five years after admitting charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal over a three-month period last year.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Matthew Knight told the court Mr Bailey visited the family home on October 10, 2019. A statement from the inspector described the animal as the “skinniest living dog” he had seen, with every bone in its body clearly visible.

Honey was taken to the vet, who identified kidney disease, as well as dental, claw and conjunctivitis issues.

Mr Knight said records showed Honey had not been to the vet since 2007, adding “it was obvious this dog needed help”.

The dog had been with the family since it was a puppy, with Clare Hawkins being aged around seven at the time when they first got the pet.

Graphic images shown in court highlighted the dog’s poor health.

Ben Schofield, mitigating on behalf of Christine Hawkins, said the mother had been struggling to accept that she allowed Honey to suffer.

“It was an incompetence by Ms Hawkins to not properly care for the animal,” said Mr Schofield.

Mark Price, mitigating for Clare Hawkins, said she broke down in tears when being interviewed and had tried to get help for Honey.

Before she contacted the RSPCA, she attempted to get assistance from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) but the charity said they needed to see proof of her mother’s benefit top up before they could provide support, the court was told.

Mr Price said when Clare Hawkins got home from work one day and discovered the dog could not stand, she spent the night by its side. She spoke to a friend who is a vet and they advised her to call the RSPCA.

“She did the best she could for the dog but in an incompetent way,” said Mr Price.

Magistrate Ian Kendall said: “The photographs say it all. Absolutely appalling treatment of a poor, defenceless animal.”

Both defendants were ordered to pay £300 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Christine Hawkins was order to complete 120 hours of unpaid community work and Clare Hawkins was ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid community work.