Woman who 'wilfully neglected' her pet dogs causing them 'unnecessary suffering' caught out by RSPCA inspectors on Facebook

A Yorkshire woman, who "exhibited wilful neglect and dereliction" by failing to seek veterinary treatment for her two pet dogs, causing them immense suffering, was caught out by RSPCA inspectors on Facebook.

Sasha's leg injury which had been left untreated by her owner.

Kerry Ann Fretwell-Challenger, 41, was investigated by the RSPCA in relation to the poor care of her two dogs - Sasha, a female Staffordshire bull terrier and Roxy, a black brindle Staffordshire bull terrier.

Inspector Sarah Jordan was called to Fretwell-Challenger's home in Brantwood Crescent, Doncaster, on May 21, last year, 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.

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Fretwell-Challenger told the inspector her daughter had fund the dog injured behind some shops the previous day, which was a lie.

Roxy, a black brindle Staffordshire bull terrier.

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 on the June 10, last year, I made a call to her to put this evidence to her which she denied.."

The RSPCA then received a further report of another dog at Fretwel-Challenger's address and returned on August 14, 2020, with police to seize Roxy, who was suffering from a severe skin condition with extensive hair loss to her lower back and tail.

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Sasha was unable to bear weight on her left foreleg due to a deep wound which appeared to be infected.

The vet report reads: “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.

Roxy's skin condition that had been left untreated by her owner.

The report concluded: "By not seeking that and leaving her untreated, her owner has caused her unnecessary suffering."

In mitigation, she admitted to not accepting responsibility when she first made contact with the RSPCA saying she feared she would lose both dog. She said she regretted her actions and that she had struggled being the sole carer of three children.

Fretwell-Challenger was sentenced to a total of 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. She must also do 80 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £350 and a £128 victim surcharge.

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.”

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