#TheList Leslie Michael Bishop, born 07/08/1965, of Maple Street, Middlesbrough TS1 3DS – kept three thin and hungry Akita dogs named Nikita, Storm and Niko in squalid conditions.
The RSPCA found Niko and Nikita in a back yard among an “extensive accumulation of faeces”. Both dogs appeared hungry and thin and their coats were molting and dirty.”
Storm had been kept indoors where conditions made for a “hazardous environment”.
There was urine on the floor, flies circling around rooms and a foul smell. One of the dogs had a severe ear infection.
Career criminal Bishop pleaded not guilty to five charges but refused to attend the trial via video link from prison where he was remanded in custody for another unrelated matter. The trial was however continued in his absence and the case against him proven.
Sentencing: Jailed for 18 weeks. Banned from owning animals for 10 years (expires July 2027).
#TheList William Dobbie, born c. 1986, of Dundas Street, Bathgate EH48 – left three dogs to starve so badly their bones protruded through their skin
Dobbie pleaded guilty to failing to provide the dogs, called Mitzi, Sugar and Kane, with appropriate and adequate nutrition and failing to obtain adequate veterinary treatment to treat their infestation with fleas.
The Scottish SPCA received a complaint in October 2016 about the way Dobbie’s animals were being treated. After meeting police outside the house, inspectors from the animal charity gained access to the property.
Inspector Jenni Surgeon said, “On entering the property I discovered a Staffordshire bull terrier in a cage behind the door with no access to food or water.
“She was extremely thin and her bones were protruding through her skin.
“The cage contained large quantities of faeces, some of which had mould, indicating the cage had not been cleaned for quite some time.
“There was a foul smell inside the property which was caused by the multiple deposits of faeces throughout the house.
“The property was very unhygienic which put the animals at risk of injury, disease and illness.
“There were two extremely underweight Jack Russell terriers roaming around the house, both of which had staining to their legs and lower abdomen which has most probably been caused by the pair lying in their own urine and faeces.
“We welcome the fact that Dobbie has been dealt with by the court and the sentence handed down.
“We hope he will give serious consideration about his suitability to care for other animals in the future.
“Thankfully, the dogs have now received the proper treatment and have made a full recovery.”
Sentencing: Five-month restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning or keeping animals for three years (expires July 2020).
#TheList Michelle Baldwin, aka Michelle Robinson (DoB 14/08/1976) and Shaun Baldwin (DoB 26/05/1996) both of 63 Masseyfield Road, Runcorn and Shane Andrew Baldwin (DoB 17/11/1997) of 22 Linkway, Runcorn – allowed their two dogs to starve so badly one had to be put down.
The RSPCA said the dogs, Staffordshire terrier-type breeds Bruno and Roxy, were so thin their ribs were clearly visible and they were living in ‘atrocious’ conditions.
Bruno was put to sleep on health grounds despite the charity’s efforts to save him and Roxy has been rehomed.
The trio each pleaded guilty in May to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs and one of failing to provide a suitable environment at an earlier hearing.
Speaking about the case, attending RSPCA Inspector Lisa Lupson described both dogs as being “very thin” especially Bruno who was described as being very lethargic and subdued and so weak he had to be put on a drip . Sadly he couldn’t be saved.
Court papers said Michelle Baldwin had entrusted the care of the dogs to two young adults without taking responsibility for them herself.
Sentence: Michelle Baldwin was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for six months and her sons Shaun and Shane were both given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. All three were told to pay costs of £100 and an £85 victim surcharge each. A 10-year ban on keeping animals was imposed on the trio.
#TheList Michael Stephen Conwell, born 14/01/1994, of Slievebuoy Park, Londonderry BT47 4BE – for cruelty to three dogs found with mouth injuries consistent with badger baiting
Conwell’s animal cruelty was uncovered during a police search of properties in the Claudy area of Londonderry as part of an ongoing investigation into wildlife offences.
Inside his property police found three dogs with visible injuries to their mouths and lips.
A lurcher had long-standing damage to the right side of her mouth and damage to her lips. A vet who examined the dog believed the injuries had been inflicted three months earlier and described the lurcher’s condition as poor.
A patterdale terrier also had damage to her lips and scarring injuries, which the vet also believed were two months old.
The third dog, a Cairn-Patterdale cross, had several of her teeth missing as well as injuries to her lips. The vet believed those injuries were between two weeks and three months old.
The prosecutor said although the defendant was neither charged with nor convicted of badger baiting, the vet who examined the three dogs believed that the injuries were consistent with badger baiting.
The three dogs were removed from Conwell’s home by the police and kept in kennels.
The PSNI incurred kennelling costs of £14,000 for the three dogs, all of which have recovered from their injuries and are now waiting to be rehomed after the conclusion of the court proceedings.
The prosecutor said Conwell gave a “no comment” interview to the police following his arrest and gave no explanation as to how the injuries had been inflicted on his three dogs.
Sentencing: Conwell was originally given a three-month prison sentence and ordered to pay £14,000 kennelling costs. Following his appeal his sentence was increased to four months but suspended for three years. Costs were reduced to £7,500. Disqualified for life from owning animals.
#TheList Shaun Musson, born 25/03/1992, of Chaucer Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 8SS – starved a dog until he became so weak he couldn’t make his way up stairs
KFC worker Shaun Musson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the Staffordshire bull terrier named Maxie.
The court heard that Maxie was given a low body score of one out of nine and that he was so emaciated that he had no muscles in his legs.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Leafe, who rescued Maxie, said: “When I took Maxie to the vet after he was rescued, he was so weak that he stumbled up the stairs at the entrance. He had no muscle in his legs, he was so weak. He had to keep stopping while walking because he just could not walk properly.”
The court heard that Maxie weighed 11kg, instead of the 18kg he should have weighed.
Inspector Leafe said: “Musson said that he believed the dog had lost weight because he was stressed, as Musson had gone from being at home all the time to working 40 hours a week. Put simply, Maxie lost a lot of weight as a result of not being fed properly. He was such a skinny dog and you could see every single bone in his body. He looked like a skeleton with fur.
“As well as being underweight, he had an overgrown claw which was curling over into his pad. It would have been incredibly painful for him.”
The court heard that a member of the public contacted the RSPCA after seeing Maxie.
He recovered in the RSPCA’s care and was made available for rehoming.
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; £300 in costs. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years(expires July 2027).