A LEUKAEMIA stricken greyhound was found skeletal, covered in sores and suffering, but its owner had not taken it to a vet, a court was told.

The nine-year-old ex-track dog, called Lass, which also had ‘horrendous’ gum disease and worms, was rushed to a vet by an RSPCA inspector, but was too sick to undergo chemotherapy and had to be put to sleep.

Burnley magistrates heard how Lass and an adult male lurcher named Cid belonged to Dean Warburton, 41, who lived in a static caravan behind a garage in Padiham.

The inspector, alerted by two calls from the public, went to the caravan last October.

Warburton was not there at first, but next to the caravan was a makeshift wooden dog shelter with a small run attached.

Two animals came out of the shelter and although the lurcher looked healthy, the greyhound was ‘alarmingly emaciated’.

The hearing was told the run was not covered, was deep in thick mud and faeces, the dogs had no food, water, chews or toys, and their hay bedding inside the shelter was wet and dirty.

Warburton, who was to claim he thought Lass had a tummy bug, was questioned by the inspector and said he had been treating the dog’s wounds, which had appeared a couple of weeks before, himself with iodine.

He said he had had her for about 12 to 18 months and she wasn’t registered with a vet.

The defendant claimed Lass had started losing weight a few weeks before and he had been trying to bulk her up with milk powder from an animal feeds supplier.

Warburton immediately signed both pets over to the animal charity, but still has one dog and was allowed to keep it after the Bench did not ban him from owning or keeping animals.

The defendant, of Park Road, Padiham, admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, between last September 19 and October 3 and one of not taking reasonable steps to meet the needs of Lass and Cid.

The defendant, who works and was said to be paid cash in hand, was fined £330, with a £15 victim surcharge.

Bench chairman David Bennett said they were not imposing a ban as nothing Warburton had done was deliberate and the lurcher had been in good condition. He told him: “I am sure the RSPCA will be interested in popping in to see you every now and again.”