The owner of a small Shih Tzu that was turned over to the SPCA suffering from organ failure, dental disease and maggot-infested wounds told CTV News he only knew the dog had been stricken with diarrhea.

Victoria resident Douglas Pattison and his wife Enza have been charged with animal cruelty after their dog Tiny was found wandering outdoors in distress in August.

Pattison spoke about the allegations against him Wednesday, claiming the dog wandered away from the couple’s backyard just one day before she was found with massive, open wounds on her paws and at the base of her tail.

“She’d had diarrhea the previous weekend and that’s the reason she was outside, my wife was complaining about the smell,” said Pattison, who denied knowing any more about the animal’s condition.

“We knew she had diarrhea and I’d given her a good shampoo after she’d been sick.”

Pattison said his wife Enza was Tiny’s primary owner, but that she was not interested in speaking about the allegations against them.

The couple has 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 SPCA said their 10-year-old Shih Tzu’s fur was badly matted when she was turned in, and the dog’s kidneys and other organs were shutting down due to dehydration.

Veterinarians tried to stabilize Tiny’s condition with around-the-clock treatment, but eventually put the dog down.

“Tiny continued to struggle for three months,” SPCA Const. Erika Paul said in a statement Tuesday. “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.