A Narromine woman whose malnourished, flea-ridden dog was found surrounded by piles of faeces, urine and rubbish has been banned from owning any animal for five years.
Police who found the dog without access to water thought it was dead when they looked over Melanie Louise Dugan's fence on July 23, after community members reported animal neglect.
In a police facts document presented to Dubbo Local Court, officers said the dog looked lifeless and after several attempts they were able to get a reaction and confirm proof of life.
She recognises she did the wrong thing.Legal Aid solicitor William Bruffy.
Within minutes of arriving in Dugan's backyard, police were bitten by fleas and the RSPCA were unable to provide immediate assistance.
Police took the despondent dog to a vet, who provided treatment for a severe lack of blood and dehydration.
When confronted by police Dugan said she was unable to find time to care for the dog and claimed she tried to feed it.
The Daily Liberal can reveal Dugan has been in the sights of authorities before.
Two puppies were removed from her care earlier this year because of food, water and shelter concerns.
A Narromine Shire Council ranger told police Dugan owned a large number of cats and when officers asked her how many cats she owned she could not tell them. The number is believed to be in the range of 15 to 20.
Dugan spent Tuesday night in police custody and pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty when she faced Dubbo Local Court on Wednesday.
"She recognises she did the wrong thing," Dugan's Legal Aid solicitor William Bruffy told the court.
"This was not willful or intentional... it's an omission," he said.
Mr Bruffy said the dog was provided with food and water the day before police found it and the animal was given to Dugan by an acquaintance who could not care for it.
He told the court the dog could have been asleep when police saw it, Dugan had no record of similar offences, was "overwhelmed" and experienced financial difficulties.
Magistrate Gary Wilson said there was "no excuse whatsoever" for Dugan's cruelty.
"You do not deserve to have a pet," he told her.
Dugan was convicted, banned from owning an animal for five years and forced to pay a $500 fine.
The dog is expected to make a full recovery.