A Merseyside woman whose dog suffered with an injury that left half his face missing has been banned from keeping animals for the rest of her life.
Eight-year-old German Shepherd-cross Lenny had a gaping 10cm wound that left a hole on the side of his face, extending from his ear to the corner of his mouth.The wound had maggots inside it and veterinary evidence suggested the dog had been suffering for weeks.
However, when Theresa Dixon (DOB 1.2.60) took Lenny to a vet on 31 May this year, she claimed the wound had only appeared in the previous half an hour. Lenny was put to sleep by the vet to prevent him from further suffering.
Dixon, of Boundary Road, Birkenhead, today (4.12.17) appeared at Wirral Magistrates’ Court when she was handed a lifetime ban on keeping animals and given a 20 week custodial sentence, which was suspended for two years.
She was also told she must carry out a two year community order, including a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement, 60 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Dixon had been convicted in her absence at a previous hearing of one offence of causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act.
Veterinary evidence concluded that the wound was probably self-inflicted by Lenny who was scratching his ear because of an infection.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “The wound was extremely severe and it extended under the skin 3cm, 5cm and 10cm at its deepest – half of his face was literally missing. The fact that there were maggots inside it suggests it had been there much longer than the half an hour as claimed by Dixon.
“Lenny would have been in excruciating pain. His condition can only be described as a catalogue of neglect. Not only did he have a large, gaping hole on his face but his ears had traces of e-coli and faeces inside them, and his fur was long and matted.
“Around that time we were having a spell of warm weather and poor Lenny would have had that long, matted coat during the heat. He would have been so uncomfortable.
“When I interviewed her, Dixon said that when she first noticed the wound she cleaned it with a solution of white vinegar and water which she read about on the internet – but something like this needs to be treated by a vet. It is not acceptable to treat an animal yourself using advice from the internet when a vet is clearly the best option for the animal.
“The pain and discomfort he must have felt would have been just unimaginable.”