#TheList Nathan Lee Fisher, born 06/02/1993, of 22 Wesley Street, Amlwch LL68 9EY – banned from keeping animals after a dog was found dead under a trampoline while another was severely emaciated
Nathan Lee Fisher admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the Akita named Kuma and the puppy’s mother Layla who was described as a ‘bag of bones’
RSPCA Cymru got involved after North Wales Police attended Fisher’s address where they found Kuma dead in the back garden underneath a trampoline.
Layla was also found at the house and was described as “so skinny that bones were clearly visible through her coat”.
The RSPCA said the dogs suffered unnecessarily due to a failure to adequately explore and address their weight loss.
RSPCA inspector Phil Lewis said: “These poor Akita dogs were subject to outright neglect and ill-treatment, which cost one of the dogs their life.
“Fortunately, the other has been happily re-homed from an RSPCA animal centre.
“When she was found at the Kinmel Bay property, she looked an absolute bag of bones but thankfully her suffering is over.”
Sentence: 12-week prison sentences for the two charges, to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months; 12-month community order, 180 hours of community work; nine-month alcohol treatment order; fined £750 and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires March 2027).
#TheList Samantha Bevan, born c. 1985, of Fleet Lane, St Helens WA9 – allowed her pet rabbit to starve to death
Single mother-of-five Samantha Bevan pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering after failing to provide a “nutritionally balanced diet” to the rabbit, named Rocco. The family pet died of malnutrition in October 2016.
Peter Mitchell, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said inspectors knocked at Bevan’s door after receiving information that a rabbit had died at the premises.
He told the court: “The defendant readily admitted that it had died and said she had given it to a friend to bury in her garden, as she was unable to bury it herself.
“That individual gave permission to exhume the body, and the inspector noticed the animal looked very thin. A post mortem gave the cause of death as malnutrition, and the vet put the length of suffering at four weeks.”
Mr Mitchell said Bevan was interviewed and initially denied the offence, claiming she had been feeding Rocco broccoli because he had stopped eating rabbit food.
However she later admitted she “didn’t know what she was doing” in terms of looking after a rabbit.
District judge Wendy Lloyd, suggested to Mr Mitchell: “What we are talking about here is a case of ignorance rather than deliberate cruelty.”
Laurence Lee, defending Bevan, said his client was a single parent of five children who worked part-time in a local cafe.
He said: “It’s quite clear that she didn’t know what she was doing as far as this animal is concerned. She tells me (Rocco) would reject rabbit food and seemed to prefer – not that he could specify in a way she could understand – green vegetables.
“She had no idea it was suffering, and it is clear she cared for the animal; she tells me she would take it inside when it was raining.”
However Judge Lloyd interjected and said: “Her animal did suffer. Let’s be honest with one another, it starved to death. You don’t need to be an expert to notice the animal is extremely thin.”
The court heard Bevan, who has no previous convictions, was deeply upset by the death of the rabbit as were her children.
Judge Lloyd, passing sentence, said: “You should have recognised the animal was ill and it needed to be seen by a vet.
“You should have taken it to a vet or called the PDSA, there was no need at all for it to suffer.”
Sentencing: ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and to pay £385 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires March 2022).
#TheList Zara Hicks (DoB 20/09/1979) and husband David James Hicks (DoB 02/09/1975) of 47 Hemsby Road, Chessington KT9 2DY – left their pets to starve at home while they went on a luxury holiday
The Hicks both pleaded guilty to three charges under the animal welfare act after they left their pets to fend for themselves.
David Hicks, a lab technician with Specsavers Opticians, and Zara Hicks, a payroll manager with Macmillan Cancer Support, were banned from keeping animals and given suspended prison sentences after one of their cats was found dead, and another cat and dog found neglected in a dirty kitchen.
When the couple returned from the continent, Mr Hicks tried to blame his mother-in-law, saying they had arranged for her to check on the animals. She, however, denied this
The RSPCA visited the couple’s home in September 2016 after concern was raised to them about the brown female poodle cross called Honey, and a tortoiseshell male called Twitch and a tabby male called Dribble.
Inspectors arrived to discover Dribble already dead. He had been suffering from a tumour and associated illness which he had not received veterinary treatment for.
Twitch and Honey were neglected and distressed, but alive, living in a kitchen covered in faeces.
Honey and Twitch were taken by police and placed into RSPCA care,
David Hicks was given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and to pay £400 costs.
Zara Hicks was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay £400 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for 12 years (expires March 2029) .
#TheList horse dealer Jacquelyn S Johnson, Lower Stadmoreslow Farm, Stadmoreslow Lane, Stoke-on-Trent ST7 4SH – allowed horses and donkeys to be kept in squalid conditions
Jackie Johnson, who is the mother of another convicted horse abuser Claire Machin, was charged under Section 9 and Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for animal cruelty and failing to provide a duty of care to the animals under her control.
The case was investigated by Staffordshire County Council’s Animal Health team following the execution of a warrant at the dealer’s yard, along with officers from Staffordshire Police, World Horse Welfare, the Donkey Sanctuary and the RSPCA.
Visits to the farm by officers revealed horses kept in poor condition, in dirty stables with no dry lying area. Horses outside the stables had no shelter and were wet and dirty.
One pony was found collapsed in a field, covered with rugs and tarpaulin. After being examined by a vet, it was put to sleep. A second pony was found on the site with injuries and also had to be euthanized.
Further visits were made to Stadmoreslow Farm, where another four horses were taken away and several put to sleep due to their condition.
Sentencing: 12 week sentence for each offence, suspended for 12 months; ordered to pay nearly £3,500 plus an £80 victim surcharge. Disqualified from having anything further to do with horses, donkeys and ponies indefinitely.
#TheList Christopher Dennett, aged 30, of 6 Anderton Crescent, Chorley PR7 8BB – filmed chasing Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Narla around garden with a plank of wood, causing her to be traumatised and terrified of men
A horrified neighbour caught the attack on video and rang police and sent it to the RSPCA, sparking an investigation.
Unremorseful Dennett, an HGV driver who transports livestock, laughed off the investigation telling RSPCA workers he was trying to train the dog for close-quarters protection for his girlfriend.
The court watched the 47-second video in which the frightened dog is heard barking and seen running away as Dennett swings at her with the wood.
RSPCA Inspector Helen Smith said the one-year-old puppy has been left terrified of men as a result of its treatment. She said: “Mr Dennett showed no remorse when interviewed and didn’t seem to understand what he had done wrong.
“As you can see from the video, Narla is terrified, and has been caused unnecessary suffering, fear and distress.
“She is now terrified of men and although we could find no significant physical harm, emotionally she is not in a good way”.
The court heard Dennett was trying to emulate a training video he had seen on Youtube. But Insp Smith said: “He said he was training the dog to protect his partner for when he was away but this is no way to train a dog.
“You can hear the dog growling and then yelping, although it is not clear if Narla was struck in the video.
“Mr Dennett has now signed Narla into the care of the RSPCA and we will look after her and then try to re-home her.”
Dennett admitted one offence under the Animal Welfare Act of causing unnecessary suffering by using threatening or abusive behaviour towards the dog.
Sentence: total of £726 costs and charges; disqualified from keeping dogs for 12 months (expires March 2019).
#TheList Liza Johns, born c. 1975, and Barry Faulkner, born 13/12/1967, of Harcourt Street, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 4JA – failed to seek treatment for their pet dogs’ severe skin condition
Faulkner and Johns pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two collie dogs, named Custard and Tippy, by failing to provide veterinary treatment.
The court heard that the RSPCA were alerted by concerned members of the public who had seen the dogs with large amounts of fur missing.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “When I went round to their house, the first thing that struck me was that there was a very strong smell of yeast infection in the air. Both dogs were nibbling themselves to the point that Custard managed to rip open a sore on her body.
“They were both clearly very itchy and uncomfortable and the smell really was overpowering. I took them to a vet, where they were diagnosed with having mange. It is hard to say how long they were like this for, but they should have been taken to a vet at the earliest opportunity.
“By law we have a duty to care for our pets and veterinary treatment is not something which should be ignored.”
Inspector Joynes added that the dogs have “come a long way” since arriving in the RSPCA’s care.
He added: “They have dramatically improved, but still have a way to go.
“Most importantly they’re no longer in great discomfort as they were when we rescued them, which has allowed their individual personalities to come out. Rather than being obsessed with chewing and scratching themselves, they are now really friendly, inquisitive and playful dogs.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order. Faulkner was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £620 in costs. Johns was ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £455 in costs. Both were banned from keeping dogs for five years (expires March 2022).
#TheList Brenda Bateman, born 25/11/1973, of Charles Street, Milford Haven SA73 2AE – subjected an elderly collie-cross dog called Jess to horrendous levels of neglect; Jess sadly put to sleep
Bateman admitted two animal welfare offences at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates heard she failed to seek veterinary care for the collie-cross dog called Jess, who had a severe chronic skin condition and arthritis, causing the animal to suffer unnecessarily.
Bateman also admitted failing to trim the dog’s overgrown nails, which led to problems with the way she walked.
Jess was later put to sleep due to her health problems.
Speaking after the case RSPCA Cymru inspector Keith Hogben said: “The level of neglect experienced by this poor dog was horrendous.
“Jess had a severe chronic skin condition and overgrown nails, which impacted how she walked. It’s so sad that the neglect she endured sadly meant she lost her life.
It is critical that people remember they have very clear legal responsibilities towards their animals. RSPCA Cymru will continue to fight for justice for dogs like this poor collie-cross, in all corners of Wales”.
Sentence: £300 in costs, £220 fine and £30 victim surcharge; banned from keeping animals for seven years (expires March 2024).
#TheList Christine Daley, born c. 1957, of Selby Street, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 7LN – kept her elderly pet dog in squalid conditions – surrounded in rubbish and his own faeces
Wirral Magistrates Court heard that 16-year-old collie Timmy, who had a facial tumour the size of an orange, was rescued by fire crews who forced entry into the house in Selby Street, Wallasey following concerns by neighbours about living conditions.
They found Timmy lying on a sofa in the living room, which was strewn with rubbish, faeces and mouldy food and there was a strong smell of ammonia. Firefighters contacted the RSPCA
Timmy’s owner Christine Daley was interviewed and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Timmy by failing to provide veterinary treatment to the tumour, and failing to providing him with a suitable living environment, between October 1 and October 25, 2016.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes told the Globe: “The fire crew could smell something very strong and unpleasant through the letterbox and were concerned that there was a dead body in the house, so they gained entry with the police.
“That’s when they found Timmy, so they contacted us.
“The house was in squalor – every room was full of faeces.
“It was very hard to not stand in faeces as the carpet was full of it.
“It was one of the worst environments I have been in.
“The ammonia smell from the urine was very strong and there was mouldy food and rubbish on the floor.
“There was no evidence to suggest someone had been living there – there was no food in the fridge and there was no electricity.
“Timmy was essentially using the house as his kennel and as his toilet.
He continued: “Additionally, there were flies all over the house.
“It was a wonder that Timmy wasn’t suffering from flystrike too, which happens when flies lay their eggs on an animal’s flesh, with a wound like that on his face.
“If he hadn’t have been found when he was, we could have been dealing with a dog on the brink of death, or even the body of a dog.
“I went home that night quite upset and shocked, just thinking about what Timmy went through.
“He is an elderly dog and should have been relaxing on a sofa in a lovely home, not living as he was, in a lonely, dirty environment.”
Commenting on Timmy’s new life, Inspector Joynes continued: “He had so many hurdles to overcome.
“He had to have a series of tests to determine if the tumour was attached to any bones, or if it had spread elsewhere.
“Luckily, these tests came back as negative so it was something which could be surgically removed safely.
“He survived the operation, however due to the size of the tumour which had been removed, he was in some discomfort for a few weeks afterwards – but he has overcome that and now he is living such a nice life.
“It makes all the bad thoughts from that day worth it.
“Timmy is now living with a vet on a farm in Cheshire and he is having such a lovely life.
“There is a genuinely happy ending to such a sad case”.
Sentencing: Six-week prison sentence, suspended for six months. Costs of £1,075. Banned from keeping all animals for 10 years (expires March 2027).