Oldham, Greater Manchester: Suzanne Greenhalgh

#TheList Suzanne Greenhalgh, born 16/05/1959, of Roy Street, Oldham OL2 5PW – drowned a dog and her five puppies in her kitchen sink before dumping them in a wheelie bin

Suzanne Greenhalgh
Suzanne Greenhalgh pictured outside court in 2003

Mother-of-three Suzanne Greenhalgh was banned from owning a pet for 25 years after admitting killing crossbreed terrier Poppy, who she had had for seven years, and her five three-week-old puppies.

The court heard that RSPCA inspector Liz Walker, acting on a tip-off, went to Greenhalgh’s home in July 2002 and asked to look in the wheelie bin. She found the body of Poppy in a shopping bag.

When questioned, Greenhalgh immediately told the inspector that the five dead puppies were also in a bag in the bin.

Inspector Walker asked if she thought what she had done was cruel. Greenhalgh replied: “No. I though it was for the best, I had had trouble finding homes for the puppies.

“Everyone was shouting at me and nobody in the street liked Poppy because she had bitten a couple of people.”

Michael Cheetham, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said it would have taken between 30 and 90 seconds for each of the dogs to lose consciousness when being drowned. He added this would have caused considerable distress to them.

Bob Vining, defending, said: “Clearly she was suffering from ill-health at the time. She had finished a 16-hour shift at work and had to do three hours of housework and everything was on top of her. The GP had stopped her medication, which had not helped.

“She is never, ever going to forget what she did and does not, herself, understand in the cold light of day how it happened.”

Imposing a 240-hour community punishment order and the 25-year pet ban, magistrates’ chairman Alec Buckley said: “Quite clearly, this is an extremely horrendous and cruel offence.”

Mr Buckley said a custodial sentence would have been justified but he took into account a medical report on Greenhalgh and accepted she was suffering from a depressive illness at the time she committed the offence.

Sentencing: 240 hours of community service; ordered to pay £861 costs. Banned from keeping animals for 25 years (expires February 2028).

BBC News
Manchester Evening News