A “SICK” woman has been jailed for torturing a dog with boiling water while he screamed in agony.

Claire Rayer, 32, of no fixed address, denied the attack when she appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

But she was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after magistrates decided she had poured scalding water onto Snoops, an eight-year-old American Bulldog in September last year.

Horrific photographs which were shared widely on social media sparked outrage and a police investigation followed.

The court heard he had been starved and then panic fed before police arrived as he had no food in his bowel but was over-fed in his stomach.

Magistrates jailed her for four months and two weeks and banned her from caring for animals for the rest of her life.

Snoops’ owner, Matthew “Maf” Luderman, feels the sentence was not harsh enough.

The 48-year-old added: “With this new law which came in January, people who do this kind of thing can be sentenced to as much as five years so four months does not seem like long enough.

“It is such a senseless thing to do. I was taught as a child that we should protect animals because they can’t do things for themselves and we are here to look after them.”

Mr Luderman, who has owned Snoops since he was ten weeks old, was not present at the time of the attack as he was living in a bedsit which did not allow pets.

He was forced to leave Snoops in somebody else’s care at an address in Wickford until he found suitable accommodation.

“When I found out about the attack, I was devastated,” he said.

“He was touch and go for a while. Witnesses described hearing him screaming and for a dog to be in that much pain is horrific.

“It is such a sick thing to do and I will never understand it. He is so placid and gentle. I am always posting videos of him on Youtube.”

Snoops was kept in a sterile vet unit for two weeks after the incident because of the severity of the burns but is now back living with Maf.

He added: “Naturally, it has affected him. He is a lot more cautious of people.

“He is part of the family. I lost my mum in November so he is a big part of my life.”