Woman (51) accused of flouting RSPCA pet ban

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.
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A woman banned from keeping dogs and cats after an Alsatian left to suffer from an horrific untreated skin condition had to be put down, is now accused of having two cats.

Agnes Stringfellow (51) was earlier disqualified after Pennine magistrates had been told how the German Shepherd- type male, Spike, had had chronic facial dermatitis.

By the time the vet eventually saw the animal, it had no fur on its face, which was red -raw, inflamed and infected. The dog was in such agony, the vet decided it had to be put out of its misery.

A shocked RSPCA inspector, alerted by a worried shopper, who had seen Spike in a car, had said it was the worst skin condition she had ever seen.

The charity’s prosecutor Mr Christopher Wyatt had told the court: “Some of the staff at the veterinary practice had to leave the room as they were so upset at what they saw.”

The hearing last September was told how Spike had been jointly owned by Agnes Stringfellow and her husband Kevin Stringfellow, who lived separately. The dog spent most of the time with Mrs Stringfellow, who, the court was then told, was said to have a mental health problem. It had last been taken to a vet, for a facial condition in 2006, but that vet had not seen it since.

Dairy engineer Kevin Stringfellow (52), of Greenfield Road, Colne, had, at that hearing, admitted duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare - failing to meet its needs to be protected from pain, suffering, injury or disease by failing to get proper and necessary veterinary care and attention and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He had been given a 10-year ban on owning or keeping dogs and was ordered to pay £320.63 compensation - the vet’s fees- and £600 costs.

Agnes Stringfellow, of Kenilworth Drive, Earby, who was accused of the same allegations, did not attend the hearing and the bench found the case against her proven in her absence.

A warrant was later issued when she did not attend for sentence and she had to be arrested. Another warrant was issued last Friday when she again failed to attend court. She is accused of breaching the disqualification, imposed last November.

Mr Wyatt had told the court last September how a witness saw the Alsatian in a vehicle on the car park at Tesco in Horwich, Bolton, on April 12th and was so concerned she took the registration number and contacted the RSPCA.

An inspector later went to Kenilworth Drive, the home of Mrs Stringfellow, and was shocked when she saw the dog. It had no fur on its face and the flesh was exposed and red raw, with scabbing. The inspector couldn’t see the dog’s eyes.

Mr Wyatt said the inspector spoke to Mr Stringfellow on the phone and he said his wife had been looking after the dog for 12 or 13 years. Kevin Stringfellow said the animal had been taken to the vet about six years ago, but it had not been back since.

The prosecutor said the animal was taken to a vet, who reported Spike was aggressive, in obvious discomfort, restless and scratching and he decided it really needed to be put to sleep to end its sufffering.