A woman whose unfed dog became was so frail its bones were "clearly visible" has been banned from owning dogs for five years.

South Auckland woman Robin Olive pleaded guilty yesterday in Manukau District Court to ill-treatment of a dog in her care and was sentenced to 100 hours of community work and disqualified from owning a dog, the SPCA said.

The SPCA was tipped off in December that a white female whippet bull terrier cross named Lady was tied up at Olive's home in Takanini.

The dog was covered in sores and its backbone, hips, and ribs were "clearly visible".


Lady was seized by SPCA officers and rushed to a vet for treatment. She weighed only 12.5kg and was suffering from mange.

The vet concluded the dog's condition was the result of "inadequate feeding for many days, if not weeks", the SPCA said.

"He also stated that being significantly underweight and suffering from mange would have caused the dog ongoing distress and that any lay person should have realised the dog was underweight and in need of veterinary treatment."

SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin said Olive had struggled financially and found it difficult to provide her dog with medication and food.

"This case sends a clear signal to dog owners that being short of cash is no excuse - you are responsible for providing adequate food, vet treatment and other necessities for your animals," Ms Kalin said.

"If you can't provide for your animals then please seek help from family, friends or community organisations."

Lady will be put up for adoption by the SPCA "as soon as possible", Ms Kalin said.