#TheList Liam Smith, born c. 1994, of Tuckers Road, Loughborough LE11 – dragged a puppy on a lead through a cemetery, stripping the skin off his paws, before attacking him
Sixteen-week-old American bulldog, Cash, yelped in pain as he was dragged 150 metres on a lead by his cruel owner, Liam Smith.
Sentencing: 12-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months; 100 hours of unpaid work; 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Total of £615 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any pets for five years (expires April 2022).
#TheList Gordon Davey, born c. 1987, of Sherbrooke Road, Rosyth, Dunfermline, Fife KY11 – failed to seek treatment for his elderly pet dog who was suffering from skin infections, ear infections and overgrown claws
Davey admitted that between June 1 and August 31 2016 at his then home in Islay Road, Dunfermline, being a person responsible for a dog, he caused it unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and attention for the animal.
Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said: “The dog involved is called Ozzy. It’s a 13-year-old Staffordshire Bull terrier type dog.”
She said animal welfare officers attended the accused’s address regarding reports of dog neglect. Ozzy was found to have scabs and his underside was bald due to a skin condition.
He was reluctant to stand up even with the encouragement of treats because of the condition of his paws.
Ozzy was taken to a vet where he was examined and it was felt the suffering had been unnecessary. However, the prognosis for recovery was good, the depute added.
When questioned, Davey said he tried using baby oil on Ozzy’s skin condition.
Solicitor James Moncrieff said at the time of the incident Davey had been living with his partner and their seven children.
“He was unable to work after injuring his hand and was not earning money,” he said.
“He had no funds to take it to the vet. He had the dog since it was a pup and is very remorseful for how far things got. He took his eye off the ball.”
Scottish SPCA Inspector Nicola Liddell said: “Upon entering the property, it was immediately apparent that Ozzy – a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier – was in a very poor neglected state.
“He was suffering from a chronic skin condition affecting his body, limbs, and face.
“His coat and skin was covered in scabs resulting in hair loss to his paws and underside, with weeping pustules and scabs on the exposed skin.
“Both ears had internal scabs and thick discharge around his ear canals.
“Ozzy’s claws were grossly overgrown, curving round towards his pads and he was very reluctant to stand even with encouragement and treats.
“Further veterinary examination confirmed that Ozzy had been suffering for a considerable length of time, with it estimated that the claw growth would have taken at least nine months.”
Sentencing: 180 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping any animal for five years (expires April 2022).
#TheList Jamie Lee Weir, born 26/09/1995, most recently of Home Farm Road, Birkenhead – tortured a dog by hanging him by his collar, stabbing him and burning him alive
Weir pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Staffy cross Jack, resulting in the dog’s death. In an interview Weir admitted he had carried out the horrific attack, which included Jack being hung from his collar on a coat hook, as “he had never liked the dog.”
The court heard that the RSPCA received a report of a half-buried dog in a garden in Corbyn Street, Wallasey, on November 18, 2015, which led to Inspector Anthony Joynes going round to the property to investigate.
Inspector Joynes said: “The dog, who belonged to Jamie’s then-girlfriend’s mum [Lisa Hurst, who was convicted separately of failing to prevent her dog from being tortured and killed] went for a post-mortem examination and it showed that there were horrific injuries to his body indicating he had been subject to sustained attacks and torture.
“Weir admitted to beating him with a stick and hanging him from his collar on a coat hook on the wall, where he was then stabbed numerous times.
“It is likely that the dog was dying, but was still alive.
“He was then taken out into the garden and set on fire before being hastily buried.”
Jack’s blood was found on walls in the house, on a radiator and by a door.
Inspector Joynes said: “It is sickening to think what Jack went through – it is completely stomach-churning.
“He was tormented and tortured to death in the worst imaginable way.
“There was no way Jack could have escaped from this horrific act of cruelty – he stood no chance. Jack would have been terrified and in so much pain.
“It is absolutely horrific what he went through and it still sickens me today.”
Sentence: 24-week prison sentence to run consecutively to a four-year prison sentence he is currently serving; £536 costs and victim surcharge of £115; disqualified from keeping animals for life.
Lisa Hurst’s daughter Laura Hurst faced similar charges to her partner Jamie Weir and appeared in court alongside her mother Lisa Hurst in November 2016 , but we can’t find any evidence that she was ever convicted/sentenced.
#TheList Grant Smith, born 12/01/1995, of Flintmill Crescent, Greenwich, London SE3 – caught on camera throwing dogs to the ground on his balcony.
Smith was filmed picking up his two small dogs by the scruff of the neck and throwing them on the floor at his home in Flintmill Cresent.
The shocking footage shows Smith “making threatening movements and shouting towards the dogs” before picking up Jack Russell Ruby and throwing her across the balcony.
He then goes back into the flat before grabbing Shar Pei-type dog Keylo and throwing him to the ground.
Smith was investigated by the RSPCA and was convicted of two offences related to his treatment of his two dogs.
He was convicted at a previous hearing of failing to meet his dogs’ need to be protected from pain suffering, injury or disease by his threatening behaviour and rough handling.
He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Keylo through threatening behaviour and rough handling, contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
RSPCA inspector Nick Wheelhouse, who investigated the case, said: “Smith was seen coming out onto his balcony, making threatening movements and shouting towards the dogs, Smith then picked up Ruby by the scruff of the neck and threw her across the balcony.
“Smith then returned to the balcony where he grabbed Keylo by the scruff, lifted him over his shoulder and threw him to the ground.
“Smith claimed in his defence that this is how mothers treat their puppies, but his behaviour clearly went beyond the boundaries of acceptable treatment and that was reflected in the court’s decision to convict him of two offences.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order. Costs and charges totalling £285. Banned from keeping dogs for a year. Deprivation order on Keylo and Ruby.
#TheList illegal puppy farmer Jamie Parvizi (aka Jamie Finnegan), born 05/06/1979 of 13 Stone Chair Lane, Scholar Green ST7 3JJ – sold dying dogs to unsuspecting families
Parvizi, who together with partner Hayley Potts, traded under the name ‘Tinypom’, pretended he was selling healthy pure bred Pomeranians when families inquired about dogs.
But the pets – which he kept locked in the downstairs toilet – would fall ill shortly afterwards, forcing buyers to shell out thousands in vets’ bills simply to keep the animals alive.
One victim told the court how she bought a £750 puppy for her six-year-old twin daughters.
She stumped up more than £5,000 in vet fees to try to save the animal which died after being diagnosed with parvovirus.
Parviz admitted 13 charges of fraud over a two-year period. He also admitted seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and one of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure animals were properly cared for.
Sentencing him at Stoke Crown Court, Judge Simon Berkson said it had been a ‘sophisticated fraud’.
‘You were misleading the public as to the health and welfare of the pups you were selling,’ he said. ‘Your job was to make sure the pups were sold and get some money.
‘The victims lost money and their pet. The animals suffered.
‘The fraud was sophisticated. There was significant planning. It went on over a sustained period. There was a large number of victims.’
The court was told how someone ‘higher up the chain’ in the scam placed adverts in newspapers and online to attract buyers, who then contacted Parvizi.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens said: ‘He presented them with paperwork and he made them believe they were bred by him.
‘Nobody knows the origin and type of these dogs. There is no paperwork to be sure where they came from.’
Ms Stevens added that ten puppies were removed from Parvizi’s home when the police and RSPCA executed a warrant.
They have since been cared for by the RSPCA, although one has died.
Isobel Thomas, defending, said Parvizi works at Tesco and that he had racked up £27,000 of debts. He and his wife had also lost their dogs.
RSPCA Acting Chief Inspector Jayne Bashford said they were alerted to the scam after receiving a ‘flurry’ of calls from upset customers.
‘From our early enquiries we established that lots of money was exchanging hands and people who were unknowingly buying sick dogs were stuck with huge vet bills,’ she said.
‘The investigation led us to Parvizi’s property in Scholar Green and when we went in with police we rescued ten Pomeranians from the address.
‘We found two adults – a male and a female – shut in a downstairs toilet and a number of puppies were being kept in the house. Some were being kept in purpose-built pods in the garden and some smaller, young pups were inside.
‘One of the puppies was collapsed and was severely lethargic, and some of the others were in poor condition with discharge from the eyes and nose.’
She added: ‘The sentence reflects the severity and level of cruelty. We hope it sends out a strong message.
‘Puppy farming is a trade which is rife across the UK and one the RSPCA is working very hard to combat.’
Sentencing: jailed for 33 months and banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList backyard breeder Robert Lees, born c. 1964, of Stepping Stones, Stourbridge DY8 1JZ – convicted for animal cruelty after five spaniel puppies with their tails cut off were found at his home
An animal welfare officer from Dudley Council visited Robert Lees’ home where he found found five spaniel puppies that appeared to have had their tails docked, a court heard
Lees, who was the owner of the puppies, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 on April 6. The act makes it an offence to dock the tails of dogs unless on veterinary grounds.
Lees told the court the litter of puppies had been unplanned and denied he was a professional dog breeder.
He said he was advised by an associate that docking the tails of the dogs would make them more attractive as working dogs and make it easier to re-home them. The defendant claimed he handed over £10 per puppy for it to be done by someone else.
Nick Powell, head of environmental health and trading standards, said: “The council will not tolerate any actions that cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Where we do find it we will not hesitate to take the appropriate legal action.”
Tail docking has been banned in England and Wales but spaniels, terriers and hunt, point and retriever breeds that are used to work, are exempt.
Puppies of these types of dog can be docked by a vet providing it is done within the first five days of life.
The owner or breeder must be able to prove that the puppies have been bred to work by showing the vet either a gun licence or a letter from a land occupier stating the owner’s dogs work on his land. The puppies must also be microchipped by a vet. The vet must then the vet must sign certificates to say that the puppies were both docked and microchipped in accordance with the law.
Lees, however was unable to produce any paperwork.
Sentencing: 12-month community order involving 100 hours of unpaid work; costs of c. £900. No ban.