Royston, Herts: David & Marilyn Govan

#TheList hoarders David Govan, born 19/11/1950, and wife Marilyn Govan, born 03/09/1953, of Windmill Close, Bassingbourn, Royston SG8 5FJ – prosecuted for antisocial behaviour relating to their 38 dogs.

Dog hoarders Marilyn and David Govan of Royston, Hertfordshire
Dog hoarders Marilyn and David Govan of Royston, Hertfordshire

The council had received regular complaints from neighbours of antisocial behaviour relating to the Govans’ dogs howling and barking, the smell of faeces, and dogs escaping from the property. In total, the couple kept 38 dogs of various breeds at their former property in Hay Green, Royston.

The local authority gave the couple two months to reduce the noise by reducing the number of dogs on the property.

Mrs Govan contacted the council to express displeasure with the way the couple had been treated, and informing officials that they wouldn’t reduce the amount of dogs at the property.

After a second order found the noise levels were still too high, the dogs were then seized from the home by the RSPCA and the police.

The raid was prompted after a neighbour  raised concerns about the welfare of the animals.

The council also made an application for a Criminal Behaviour Order against the couple, preventing them from having more than three dogs at the property, having any female dogs on any of the land comprising their property, and allowing dogs to bark, howl, yap or whine, whilst also being required to collect, bag and bin any faeces attributed to their dogs.

As far as we know the couple, who have sold the Hay Green property and moved into nearby Windmill Close,  still have custody of the dogs.

Sentence: total fines and costs of £18,249.00.

The Sun

Bridge of Allan, Stirling: Fiona Cuthill

#TheList Fiona Cuthill, born c. 1985, formerly of Plean, Stirling, and as at 2019 of Cawder Road, Bridge of Allan FK9 4JJ – starved dog Snoop, leaving him just days from death from dehydration

Fiona Cuthill from Stirling starved puppy Snoop to within days of death

Cuthill pleaded guilty to failing to provide sufficient adequate nutrition for Snoop, who weighed under 6kg in November 2015 when animal welfare officers from the Scottish SPCA found him.

Fiona Cuthill from Stirling starved puppy Snoop to within days of death

The court heard Cuthill had suffered “financial constraints”, but SSPCA Inspector Louise Seddon said it was inconceivable she did not realise Snoop was in trouble and only needed feeding – not expensive veterinary care.

Fiona Cuthill from Stirling starved puppy Snoop to within days of death

Insp Seddon, who was the first officer to attend Cuthill’s then address at Kirkbride Terrace in Plean, added: “We received a report to our animal helpline that there was a dog at the property which was very thin and shaking and looked like it was dying.

“When I arrived I found Snoop in extremely thin condition and all his bones, especially his ribs and pelvic bones, were very prominent.

“He was in a semi-collapsed state and was only able to stand with difficulty when lifted. It was clear Snoop needed immediate veterinary attention and as he was barely able to walk I had to carry him to my van.

“The vet’s findings were that Snoop was severely emaciated and seriously dehydrated. He was immediately put on intravenous fluids and the vet was not sure whether he would survive.

“It was the vet’s view that, due to the level of dehydration, without water Snoop would likely have died within a few days, and with water death would have occurred within two weeks due to starvation.”

Despite his prolonged suffering and chronic undernourishment, fighter Snoop went on to make a full recovery from his ordeal after round-the-clock care and was rehomed.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £500 to the Scottish SPCA. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires June 2026).

Update July 2017: The Sun reported that Fiona Cuthill, who had been working as a care assistant, was struck off the social care register.