A DOG was left dangerously underweight after being fed on a diet of pizza and curry, a court heard.

Animal welfare officers were stunned when they raided Christine Hooper's home in Nailsworth following a tip-off about the welfare of her four dogs.

They found three whippet crosses and a husky, each in varying levels of nutrition.

The husky and one whippet were slightly underweight, another in a satisfactory condition but Sam, the final whippet, was 'very underweight', Stroud Magistrates’ Court was told on Wednesday, January 8.

Zoe Lash, prosecuting, said: "When asked what she was feeding them, she said she had run out of food but a grand daughter would pick more up.

"They were fed scraps of pizza and curry since she ran out. She said Sam ate but did not put on weight."

The court heard how a council animal welfare officer told Hooper, 64, of Lawnside, Forest Green, to take Sam to a vet, but when they returned a week later, she had not done so.

Hooper agreed to sign over Sam to Stroud District Council, where he weighed in at just 13.3kg.

Incredibly a week later the recovering pup weighed 14.5kg and vets detected no illness which could have caused the dramatic weight loss in his blood tests.

"That weight gain would have been the same as an eleven-and-a-half stone man putting on a stone in week," said Miss Lash.

"His condition improved and his ribs were no longer showing."

Sam has since been rehomed.

Hooper was called in for interview by the council three times but failed to show after her brother claimed she was ill, the court heard.

But, when challenged, he finally admitted his sister was well enough to attend.

"The concern is that she had more animals than she had the finances to deal with," said Ms Lash.

"Unfortunately we cannot stop people keeping a certain number of animals.

"We are not seeking at this point to have her disqualified from keeping dogs but animal welfare officers will be keeping an eye on the dogs."

Hooper admitted failing to provide Sam with a suitable diet and of failing to protect him from pain, suffering, injury and disease at the court hearing before Christmas.

She was due to be sentenced on January 8 but failed to attend and a warrant has now been issued, with bail, for her to attend on a date to be fixed.