A Bradford woman who took in a mistreated dog as a puppy has been ordered to give her up after leaving her alone in her house for nearly three days.

Tilly, a staffie-labrador cross was “terrified” and cowering under a table when she was discovered by RSPCA inspectors and police.

They had bashed down the door of the house in Dawson Street, Holme Wood, to find the two-year-old bitch had ripped apart a sofa. Dog bowls for food and water were empty and there were piles of faeces in the living room, Bradford Magistrates heard yesterday.

Her owner, Stacey Evon Smith, 25, was on trial after pleading not guilty to failing to protect her from harm, injury, suffering or disease.

The unemployed mother-to-be wept as RSPCA Inspector Sarah Briscoe described the scene when she found the dog after it had been reported abandoned.

Insp Briscoe said: “There were two bowls, both of which were empty and the sofa, which was quite large, was in the centre of the room. It had foam bitten out of it and was spread everywhere.

“The dog’s tail was firmly under and its shoulders were very, very hunched. She was terrified.”

Smith took in Tilly, who had been beaten and dumped, at just a few weeks old and had cared for the dog.

But on December 1 last year, a concerned member of the public reported her abandoned. RSPCA Inspector Rachel Oprysk visited the flat the next day and sealed the front and back doors. This is a method used by the charity when investigating suspected abandoned animals to prove nobody entered or left a house.

The tape remained undisturbed until Saturday, December 4 when police smashed down the door for the RSPCA to rescue Tilly.

Smith told Magistrates she had been in and out of the house over the course of the three days but admitted staying out for a friend’s birthday on the Saturday night.

Despite RSPCA officers banging on the door during the three-day period. Tilly’s owner never answered.

Smith said she may have been asleep. “I often sleep for days,” she told RSPCA Inspector Oprysk during interview. However, she could not explain why the tape remained undisturbed and why her footprints could not be seen in the snow.

Colin Robinson, chairman of the bench described her evidence as “inconsistent, confused and not credible”. He ordered her to give up Tilly to be re-homed by the RSPCA and to pay £260 towards the 5,781 investigation and prosecution costs.

After the prosecution, Inspector Oprysk said: “The magistrates have realised what a serious case this is. This is a good result for Tilly, who can now be put into a loving home.”