Florence, a 14-year-old Shih-tzu cross from Brighton, UK, was rescued by RSPCA inspectors after being tipped off that her owner neglected her and had her living in appalling conditions. What inspectors didn’t realize was the extent of the dog’s neglect, which was discovered when Florence was bathed and her matted fur cut off.
The innocent dog had over 3 lbs. of matted fur and her front paws had fallen off due to lack of circulation. All of the Florence’s teeth had to be surgically removed because they were rotten, and the she suffered from gastroenteritis, eyes and ear infections.
Fifty-four-year-old Derek Goldsmith used to be Florence’s owner, but after authorities discovered the abuse he put the innocent pet through, Goldsmith was convicted of animal abuse, banned from keeping animals for five years, sentenced to four-months in prison, give an 18-month suspension, ordered to attend a community integration program and fined $3,800.
“This was one of the most shocking cases of long-term neglect I have witnessed in my 17 years as an inspector,” RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley told Mirror News. “I am satisfied that the sentence reflects the severity of this neglect and pleased that a ban on keeping animals has been handed out.”
Since being rescued, Florence has made a miraculous recovery. Veterinarians treated her condition and a local college student designed and built a harness on wheels to facilitate Florence’s mobility.
Florence was adopted by Karen Baranagh once she was healthy enough to be placed for adoption.
“I cannot praise the inspector who saved her, or the vets who cared for her,” said Baranagh. “They all did an amazing job of bringing Florence back to life.”
Today, Florence is a happy dog who doesn’t let her disability damper her outlook on life.
Goldsmith is serving his sentence and has promised never to own another pet.