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    Alsatian Scratches Skin Off Face After Cruel Owners Didn't Take it To The Vet For 8 Years

    NewsTuesday 07 October 2014

    A dog suffering from chronic facial dermatitis has been put down after his owners failed to take him to the vet for eight years. 


    GRAPHIC IMAGES: Alsatian Spike, who was over 10 years old, was first brought to the attention of the RSPCA after a worried shopper spotted the pooch in Horwich, Bolton. An inspector visted the residence of Agnes Stringfellow, who is married to but separated from her husband Kevin and is said to have a mental health problem. The inspector was shocked - Spike had no fur on his face and his skin was inflamed, infected and red raw with scabbing, to the point where she couldn't even see the dog's eyes. She promptly telephoned Mr Stringfellow, who gave permission for Spike to be taken in to an experienced vet.

    Vet Shaun Taylor reported inflammation across most of Spike's face, with leaking fluid. Spike was in obvious discomfort and pain, to the point where he became aggressive, restless and persistantly scratched his red raw facial skin. Some of the staff at the veterinary practice became so distressed and upset at Spike's condition that they had to leave the room - with one RSPCA inspector describing it as the worst skin condition she'd ever seen.


    It was decided that Spike's extreme suffereing had to end - the dog was put to sleep, which Mr Stringfellow agreed to.


    When interviewed by the RSPCA, Mr Stringfellow claimed his wife had looked after the dog for the last 12 to 13 years and that most of Spike's time was spent with her. Facial dermatitis is a long term condition, and it was confirmed that Spike had been taken to a vet about 6 years ago regarding his condition, but had not been back since. His skin condition then got worse over the last six months but Mr Strongfellow didn't take him to the vet thought he could sort it out himself. Mrs Stringfellow was not interviewed by the RSPCA, despite attempts on their part to do so. 


    Kevin Stringfellow was banned from owning or keeping dogs and cats for 10 years and was made to pay compensation of £920.63 to cover vets fees and costs. Agnes Stringfellow (pictured below) was not present as the hearing but the case was proved in her abscence - which has been adjourned until 17th October.

    Mr Stringfellow stated in court: "I’m very sorry. It wasn’t done with any intent. Things got on top of me. I tried to get help for Agnes. The worst thing that could have happened has. I have lost Spike.’


    If you suspect animal cruelty or neglect in your local area contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Your local shelter may also be able to advise you or help.



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