A WIRRAL man who failed to have his pet dog’s surgical wounds checked over for more than two years has admitted neglect.

The owner, from Birkenhead, appeared before Wirral Magistrates today charged with causing unnecessary harm to an animal and failing to meet its needs.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges following the discovery of German Shepherd Max in April.

The hearing was told how an animal control officer had found the dog in “poor condition” weighing just 23kg.

Chris Murphy, prosecuting, said: “The dog was taken to a vet where it was discovered there was an unattended surgical wound that had been imposed in November 2010 for neutering, but the stitches had not been removed.

“Inspector Anthony Joynes from the RSPCA interviewed the defendant and he accepted full responsibility.

"The vet’s report stated the dog had been neglected and was covered in faeces. Its fur was matted and there was a pungent smell coming from the animal.

“It was treated for infection and blood samples were taken.

"The animal was subsequently looked after by the RSPCA where it put on a number of kilos in a short time which indicated no other reason for such a thin condition – it was clearly a lack of food.”

The court heard the vet's report stated: “It would have been obvious to any lay person that it was underweight and suffering.”

It also heard how the dog's owner “had not realised the animal hadn’t had the stitches removed.”

Matt Harvey, defending, asked that sentence be held off until reports had been studied.

Sentence will be passed on September 12.