Bamboo the bulldog suffered 'worst' neglect before dying, court hears as couple banned from owning animals

A Calgary couple has admitted to causing distress to an American bulldog named Bamboo who died during surgery after being turned into an animal hospital emaciated and with horrific injuries.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing images and details

Ruby, a bulldog-cross discovered in southeast Calgary with severe abuse-related injuries, died on the operating table as veterinarians tried to save her. (Calgary Humane Society)

A Calgary couple has admitted to causing distress to an American bulldog named Bamboo who died during surgery after being turned in to an animal hospital emaciated and with horrific injuries.

Jamie O'Leary, 34, and Janice Piper, 24, pleaded guilty on Monday to four animal cruelty charges. 

Bamboo, who police initially called "Ruby" when seeking the public's help in looking for her abusers, was brought to an animal hospital in Sept. 2014 by Piper's mother, Michelle Caswell.

Caswell was also charged and convicted of animal abuse charges related to this case.

The dog had extensive injuries — including open wounds all over her body — and was emaciated.

'Super sweet' dog

Three days after she was brought to the animal hospital, Bamboo died during surgery and police launched an investigation.

"[Bamboo] was one of the worst cases of neglect I've ever seen doing this for 12 years," said Brad Nichol, the head of protection and investigations for the Humane Society. 

"It was almost made worse by the disposition of the animal, which was super sweet despite the injuries and the conditions the dog was suffering."

Jamie O'Leary and Janice Piper pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on Monday in connection to Ruby's injuries. (Calgary Humane Society)

When officers executed a search warrant at Piper and O'Leary's home, they and found a number of other animals that were also living in "deplorable conditions" and in "various states of distress," according to prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood, who arranged the guilty plea with defence lawyers Kim Ross and Jim Lutz.

Pair fined, banned from owning animals

O'Leary had been running a breeding operation at the time and has previous convictions for animal cruelty. 

The home was covered in animal feces and urine, according to Greenwood.

After a necropsy, it was determined Bamboo would have been in distress for four to six weeks leading up to her death.

Ruby was suffering from large facial and hind wounds, severe emaciation and eye and ear infections when found by a Good Samaritan. (Calgary Humane Society)

Piper told police the dog had been peeing blood but said it was going to cost too much to take her to a vet. 

"She became overwhelmed with the situation," said Piper's lawyer, Kim Ross. "She's extremely remorseful." 

Provincial Court Judge Anne Brown accepted the joint sentencing submission of a $2,500 fine for each O'Leary and Piper, and also imposed a lifetime ban on either owning any animals.