A woman who left her dog to suffer with an injury which left half his face missing has been found guilty of causing the animal unnecessary suffering.

Theresa Dixon (DOB 01/02/60), of Boundary Road, Birkenhead, did not turn up at Wirral Magistrates’ Court yesterday for the hearing, however the bench found her guilty in her absence.Lenny.jpg

The court heard that Dixon took the eight-year-old German Shepherd-cross dog – named Lenny – to a vet on 31 May this year, claiming that a large 10cm gaping hole on the right side of his face, which extended from his ear to the corner of his mouth, had appeared in the last half hour.

But the wound had maggots inside it and the vet concluded that Lenny had been suffering for weeks. Lenny was put to sleep by the vet to prevent further suffering.

It is thought that the wound was 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.”

A warrant has now been issued for Dixon’s arrest.