#TheList Donna Swift, born ca. 1973, formerly of Sash Street and more recently Tennyson Road, Stafford ST17 9ST – let her dog Bobby become so underweight she was close to death and to suffer painful skin condition
Swift was feeding black cross-breed Bobby so little that RSPCA inspectors said the dog had been forced to use her reserves of body fat in order to survive.
Harrowing pictures taken when Bobby was seized by the animal charity showed the dog’s ribs were visible through her fur. She was also suffering from a bad skin condition.
Single mother-of two Swift claimed she could not afford to take Bobby to the vet and did not need to because “she has never been ill”.
The court heard Swift had owned Bobby since she was a puppy nine years earlier.
After an RSPCA inspector visited Swift’s home and referred the dog to a vet, they rated Bobby’s condition at a lowly 0.5 out of 10.
A vet who examined Bobby said she was close to dying had she not been rescued. The dog was signed over to the RSPCA and in just a few weeks she had made a “marked” improvement.
Swift admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Sentencing: 100 hours of community work; contribution to £750 costs; banned from owning any animal for five years (expired October 2016).
#TheList Crufts medal winner Rachel Mortimore, born 30/07/1954, of Foxdown House, Taunton TA3 7DY – kept 300 animals including dogs, horses, cats, chickens, ferrets and rabbits in squalor.
Rachel Mortimore admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a hearing in July 2011.
They related to a cat and a dog which were among 300 animals found in squalid conditions at Culmhead’s Foxdown Dog Training Centre in November 2010.
The dog – a Toller retriever – was found with a hole in the side of his face due to an infected abscess in his mouth that had been left untreated.
The cat had an ulcer on her eye that would have “popped” the eye if left untreated.
RSPCA inspectors described the conditions at Mortimore’s dog training centre as ‘filthy, horrible and unbelievable’.
Recorder Michael Parroy QC said that it was clear that Mortimore had far too many animals on the premises to be able to give them proper care.
Mortimore also works as a dog breeder, selling Toller puppies for £750, and has the largest breeding kennels in the country for the breed.
Sentencing: 140 hours of community service; £1,000 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for life but this was later reduced to 18 years on appeal.. Mortimore is allowed to apply to have the ban lifted in nine years from date of conviction, i.e. around July 2020.