Doncaster woman banned from keeping pets after allowing two dogs to suffer

A woman from Doncaster has been banned from keeping all animals for five years after she failed to seek veterinary treatment for her two dogs.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:27 pm

Kerry Ann Fretwell-Challenger, 41, of Cantley, was sentenced at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing after an RSPCA investigation regarding her two dogs Sasha, a female Staffordshire bull terrier, and Roxy, a black brindle Staffordshire bull terrier.

In May last year, Inspector Sara Jordan was called to the address in Brantwood Crescent to collect a dog which had reportedly been found with an injury to her leg by a member of the public. The dog was unable to bear weight on her left foreleg due to a deep wound which appeared to be infected.

The court heard how Inspector Jordan brought Sasha into RSPCA care and asked Fretwell-Challenger a few more questions about where the dog had been found and was told her daughter had found the injured dog behind some shops the previous day.

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Both dogs were found to be suffering at a house in Doncaster.

Inspector Jordan said: “Throughout my conversations with Ms Fretwell-Challenger I had my suspicions that the dog may have belonged to her.

“A search on social media found a number of photos of Sasha on Ms Fretwell-Challenger’s Facebook page over the period of a number of years and I made a call to her to put this evidence to her which she denied.”

The RSPCA then received a further report about another dog at the address and returned in August with the police to seize Roxy who was suffering from a severe skin condition with extensive hair loss to her lower back and tail.

The vet report stated that Sasha was suffering from a large open wound to her left forelimb with puncture wounds consistent with a dog bite. The bone itself was visible, her leg was swollen and she was unable to bear weight on it. The vet stated the injury to her leg would have been at least three to five days old.

The vet report continued: “If this is the case the owner exhibited wilful neglect and dereliction in their duty of care by failing to seek veterinary help for the injuries of their dog. These injuries were substantial and would have been obvious to a layperson, as was the pain exhibited by Sasha, manifested in a reluctance to bear weight on her leg.”

The vet report for Roxy stated that she was suffering from severe skin disease with significant hair loss, crusting and scabbing as well as marks of self-mutilation.

The report added: “The severe skin disease Roxy was suffering with was clearly a source of notable discomfort and pruritus, leaving her not only in pain with her sore and damaged skin but with the mental anguish of always feeling itchy.”

The vet stated that this would have been going on for several weeks and it would have been ‘plainly obvious’ that she needed veterinary treatment.

“By not seeking that and leaving her untreated, her owner has caused her unnecessary suffering,” the report concluded.

Speaking after the sentencing, Inspector Jordan said: “This was a sad case that could have so easily been avoided if the owner had sought veterinary treatment for her two dogs.”

In mitigation, Fretwell-Challenger admitted that she did not accept responsibility when she first made contact with the RSPCA out of a sense of fear that she would lose both dogs. She said she now regretted her actions. Further personal mitigation also included her difficulties being the sole carer of three children.

She was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months for the first offence and six weeks imprisonment to be served concurrently and suspended for 12 months, for the second offence. She must also take part in Rehabilitation Activity Requirements of up to 15 days and 80 hours of unpaid work in the community.

She was also ordered to pay £350 and a £128 victim surcharge and disqualified from keeping all animals for five years which she cannot appeal for a period of five years.

Both dogs were signed over into the charity’s care last August and have now been rehomed.