Animal cruelty charges have been laid against the owners of a small Shih Tzu that was found suffering from maggot infested wounds over the summer.

Victoria residents Douglas and Enza Pattison have been charged with failing to provide necessaries to an animal and causing an animal to continue to be in distress.

If convicted, they could face five years in jail, a $75,000 fine and a ban on owning animals.

The couple’s 10-year-old Shih Tzu, Tiny, was turned into an SPCA shelter on Aug. 2 by a Good Samaritan who found the dog wandering outdoors.

The SPCA said Tiny’s fur was so badly matted that her paws and the base of her tail were covered in massive, open wounds.

“I just can’t comprehend why anyone would allow a little dog to become so sick without intervening,” SPCA Const. Erika Paul said in a statement. “It’s horrible to think of how much Tiny suffered before she was rescued.”

The dog’s kidneys and other organs were shutting down due to dehydration, the agency said, and the dog was suffering from dental disease.

The SPCA tried to stabilize Tiny’s condition with around-the-clock veterinary treatment, but was eventually forced to put the dog down.

“Tiny continued to struggle for three months,” Paul said. “Finally her health deteriorated to the point where she had no energy or will to continue and she was having to be force fed. At that point, the only humane option was to relieve her suffering.”

None of the allegations against the Pattisons have been proven in court.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 3.