Animal inspector’s heartbreak as she finds a dying dog locked up in a filthy house

An animal inspector found a dying dog along with four dead animals in what she describes as the worst case of neglect and animal cruelty in her 15 years of career.

Laura Barber, RSPCA'sanimal inspector of 15 years, faced the worst case of neglect and animal cruelty she had to deal with during her career.

‘A house of horrors’

Called to inspect the property, Laura found four dead pets, dogs Lily and Hercules and two lizards in a 'faeces-filled and flea-ridden' house, according to RSPCA.

There were signs of animal suffering everywhere. The wall next to where Lily lay in her own excrement, was scratched badly, suggesting the dog was trying to break out of her horrendous ‘prison cell’.

Hercules, whose body was later found in a freezer, had been locked up in a faeces-filled cage for three months before he died.

Laura discovered later that two lizards were left ‘dying a lingering death’ without feed.

In the same house, Laura came across emaciated and poorly Lacey. The animal was rushed to Blue Cross Animal Hospital.

Lacey's story

Lacey was about eight years old and was in very poor health. She was crawling with fleas and had urine stains on her legs. As Laura’s investigation concluded, the animal remained in her filth-ridden room for two years and had never been out of it in that entire time.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

Laura said:

She was unable to stand. She had a thick, brown discharge coming from her nostril, and her left eye was cloudy... I could see and feel all her spine, ribs and pelvic bones. She was in such a poor state, it was heartbreaking to see.

Lacey remained in the care of Blue Cross Animal Centre where she began to make progress and bonded with the team. She was adopted by Ryan Rouse, a Blue Cross member of staff, and was thrilled to have a loving home. Sadly, after a few months Lacey’s health deteriorated and a vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.

Ryan said:

When the only option to house Lacey was in kennels, I stepped in to offer her a foster home to give her a happy, safe place to live. She soon became a member of the family and we gave her all the love we could give. Sadly, the years of neglect had taken their toll on her and when it was time to say goodbye, the team at Grimsby all gave her a cuddle and many tears were shed.

New figures issued by the RSPCA reveal that 90,000 dogs suffered at the hands of humans last year.

Head to RSPCA's website to learn more about the charity and support their vital animal welfare and rescue work.

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