Milford Man Convicted of Animal Cruelty - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Milford Man Convicted of Animal Cruelty

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MILFORD, Del.- Authorities said Tuesday that a Milford man has been convicted of animal cruelty after his pet cocker spaniel died from an infection due to extreme matting of hair.

Bobby Smith, 60, was found guilty last week, according to Capt. Sherri Warburton, chief of Delaware Animal Care and Control. 
 
Warburton said the case stems from a neglect complaint received by DEACC on Sept. 6, 2013, about "Brewster," an adult male cocker spaniel dog that was in poor condition upon arrival to a professional groomer. The dog was then transported to a local animal hospital. Brewster soon died from complications stemming from severe matting, Warburton said. She said that on Sept. 10, 2013, FSAC-SPCA shelter veterinarian Dr. Leah Tammi determined that the severe matting had entombed both ears, causing a fatal infection.

Warburton said the veterinarian also reported that because of the severity of the matted hair, "Brewster" was unable to close his eyes. Approximately 9 pounds of matted fur was removed from "Brewster" at the time of his death, Warburton said. DEACC Sgt. Kim Schnares investigated the case and arrested Smith on Sept. 10, 2013, on the charge of cruelty to animals.

"It is a very sad situation," Warburton said. "Years of neglect caused dirt to build up so much in the dog's coat that it caused a deadly infection from which the dog could never recover."

Warburton said that the veterinarian determined that the massive size of the hair matting entombed both of the dog's ears inside of the matting, which had pulled the right ear over and across the top of the dog's head where the massive mat had consumed the left ear as well. Warburton noted that one of the dog's ears was full of infection, puss and maggots. Both of the eyelids were pulled open and back to where the eyes were bugged out and the dog was unable to close its eyes, Warburton said.

Smith was sentenced by a Kent County Superior Court judge to one year Level 5 incarceration, suspended for one year Level 2 probation, and fined $1,000 plus court costs. He is also prohibited from owning or possessing animals for five years.

Warburton encouraged anyone who may know of situations involving animal cruelty or other animal neglect to contact DEACC at (302) 698-3006, option 1.

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