A SOMERSET man has been banned from keeping animals for five years after leaving his German Shepherd to suffer with an untreated ear tumour.

Ian Thompkins from Chard, Somerset, appeared at Yeovil Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday ( May) in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

He admitted one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to 14-year-old Theo by failing to seek veterinary care for a chronic ear condition, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA inspector John Pollock was called in April 2019 by a member of the public who was concerned for Theo’s welfare.

After several visits with no answer, the animal welfare charity’s inspector returned on Saturday 6 April 2019 at which point Thompkins brought out a black and tan coloured German Shepherd dog from the lounge.

Inspector Pollock said: “I was immediately drawn to an apple-sized mass erupting out of Theo’s right ear. It looked red, sore and inflamed. It was dripping pus over his coat. The smell was very strong and started to trigger my gag reflex.”

Theo, who had a tumour which was 9cm wide by 10cm in height and 3cm thick to the base of his right ear and a high temperature, was taken to a vet for emergency care and sadly it was found his condition was so severe that a vet made the decision he should be put to sleep to end his suffering.

RSPCA Inspector John Pollock added: “Sadly Theo had suffered from prolonged neglect that could have been avoided by seeking appropriate veterinary care much earlier.

“While it is always heartbreaking to see the health of a much-loved pet deteriorate, ignoring serious issues won’t make them go away.

“We’d encourage people who may be worried about the health of their pet to ask for help and advice to avoid unnecessary distress and suffering being caused. The RSPCA, as well as a number of other animal charities, can offer financial help, and a range of support, for owners who need help to help their animals.”

Along with the five-year disqualification order, which can not be appealed for two years, Thompkins was also ordered to carry out 130 hours community service, and pay £485 in court costs.