Dog walker fined after injured Rottweiler put down to end suffering

Two-year-old Ziva's 'excruciating' wounds were so bad vets had no choice but to euthanise her.

Dog walker John Stokesley fined after injured Rottweiler put down to end suffering Scottish SPCA

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A professional dog walker has been fined for failing to take an injured Rottweiler for medical treatment meaning vets had no choice but to euthanise her to end her “excruciating” suffering.

John Stokesley, of Paisley, did not take two-year-old Ziva to the vet early enough to have her wounds treated meaning they became infected.

The 53-year-old took the Rottweiler German Shepherd cross to a veterinary practice four days after he said she had been attacked by another dog.

The Rottweiler German Shepherd cross' wounds left her in 'excruciating' suffering.Scottish SPCA

Stokesley had been bathing and treating Ziva at home but she had stopped eating, he told the vet.

Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick said: “Ziva was carried into the practice, as she was unable to walk. The vet had to examine Ziva while she lay on the floor as the dog was so weak she could not even lift her head.”

The animal was extremely dehydrated and appeared to be in shock when she was examined on November 15, 2019.

“She had many wounds but the most significant was on her right hind leg,” inspector Dick said.

“The wound was necrotic and so deep that the bone was exposed. She also had a deep, pus-filled wound behind her right ear.

“The veterinarian advised that Ziva was in septic shock and was suffering from multi organ failure. Her back leg was so badly infected that it would need to be amputated but because Ziva was so weak she would not survive the anaesthetic and sadly the decision had to be made to euthanise her.”

The Scottish SPCA said Stokesley failed to take appropriate action and respond to the urgency of his dog’s condition ultimately leading to her suffering from “excruciating and debilitating injuries”.

The wounds became so severe that the only option was euthanasia to end her suffering.

Stokesley pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering at Paisley Sheriff Court on March 10, 2022, and was fined £800.

“Stokesley stated he was bathing the wound and attempting to treat Ziva at home, showing he was more than aware of the injuries sustained by the dog and that she needed treatment,” inspector Dick said.

“He is employed as a dog walker and has responsibility for animals in his care on a daily basis, which makes this incident even more concerning. Anyone working in a professional capacity with animals would be expected to have easily recognised the severity of Ziva’s injuries.

“Had he taken swift action at onset of injury and provided his dog with the appropriate veterinary attention, she need not have suffered and may even still be alive and well today.”

“We are pleased Stokesley has been fined but disappointed he was not issued with a ban given his employment involves caring for animals on a daily basis. We would hope he would think long and hard about his ability to care for animals going forward.

“If anyone is concerned about an animal they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”