#TheList Cathryn Tarbuck, born 30/06/89 of St. Stephens Avenue Willenhall WV13 2PP – left a dog to starve to death in a kennel
Mother-of-three Cathryn Tarbuck was disqualified from keeping animals for life after her starved dog was discovered.
Tarbuck was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and for failing to meet her needs.
The court heard that the rottweiler, named Maisie, was seen by one of Tarbuck’s friends digging at the floor of an outside kennel, on 27 January 2017.
The shocked friend pulled Maisie out before contacting a vet, who came out and immediately put Maisie to sleep as she was so emaciated and weak.
Concerned about Maisie’s condition, the vet contacted the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Dawn Burrell said: “Maisie was trying to dig her way out of her kennel but she was clearly weak. Tarbuck’s friend helped get Maisie out and then said to Tarbuck, ‘She is in a really bad way’.
“The vet who came to assess Maisie said that she had been suffering and sadly she was put to sleep on humane grounds. She had likely been suffering for at least three months.
“When she was trying to dig her way out of her kennel, she was in her final death throes. It is so sad that she had been left to suffer like that and for her life to end during such a period of distress.
“There is simply no excuse to neglect an animal like this. This was a case of extreme neglect for a long period of time. If you have a pet, you are legally responsible to ensure that their needs are met – something Tarbuck clearly failed to do.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order; ordered to pay a fine of £50 and costs of £385. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Ian Morgan Bert Griffiths, born 04/04/1963, of Pwll Caerog, Berea, St Davids, Pembrokeshire SA62 6DG – failed to provide hoof care five ponies.
Ponies on Ian Griffiths’ farm were left with overgrown hooves resembling ‘Aladdin’s slippers’ and unable to walk properly.
Company director Griffiths pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to five ponies when he appeared in court.
Jon Tarrant, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court that Griffiths failed to provide adequate hoof care to three Shetland ponies and two welsh mountain ponies between December 3, 2016 and June 3, 2017.
The bench heard that two Shetlands were found lying in awkward positions when an RSPCA inspector visited the farm on June 3, 2017 It was immediately apparent that their hooves were overgrown and misshapen, causing pain and discomfort.
One stood with an arched back trying to shift its weight from its front to back legs when standing, in an effort to find some relief and was in ‘severe pain’, while another struggled to move.
Mr Tarrant said that a vet who examined the animals described their hooves as looking like ‘Aladdin’s slippers’.
“The two Shetlands were reluctant to move even a few steps. One went to lie down almost immediately.”
The court heard that strain would have been put on the animals’ ligaments and joints which could not be alleviated with pain killers, and Griffiths immediately surrendered them to the RSPCA.
Following treatment, three of the ponies were ready to be rehomed, but two were still experiencing difficulties.
A vet estimated that the hooves had not been trimmed in between six months and a year.
Mr Tarrant added: “It’s not suggested that this was deliberate ill-treatment, but it appears the defendant was aware of the situation, he could see them from his home and did nothing about it. It must be diagnosed as prolonged neglect.”
Magistrates heard that Griffiths, who came from nine generations of Pembrokeshire farmers, was of clean character and ‘extremely remorseful’. This was the first time there had been any problems with his animals, which included 100 cattle, pigs, cats, dogs and two other ponies on his 250 acre farm.
David Williams, defending, told the court that the father-of-three’s wife died suddenly in 2010, leaving him to run the business and look after their children.
Mr Williams said: “He would not wish to see any animal suffer under any circumstances. This is overlaid with a deep sense of shame.”
The court heard that Griffiths’ camping business, Celtic Camping (on Facebook here), could accommodate up to 1,000 people on the farm, and employed 12 full-time and four part-time staff at peak season. Griffiths also has a logging company called Pembrokeshire Logs Ltd.
Mr Williams added: “By October 2016 his children had left and he found himself for the first time in an empty house, and found himself to be exhausted.
“He had driven himself into the floor. That he caused them (the ponies) pain and suffering is something he is deeply sorry for.”
A farrier had visited the farm in August 2016 and was due to return in a couple of months, but the arrangement had fallen through.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. Ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £415 costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for five years (expires September 2022).
Career criminal Gibson, who has racked up multiple offences for theft and assault, shouted at and shoved partner Nicola Moody in the street before her friend walked over with her dog, called Frankie, to try and calm him down.
But in a fit of temper the yob booted the six-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier puppy in the ribs.
The force of the blow launched Frankie into the air, causing him to yelp in pain.
Gibson fled the scene as did the terrified dog who was later found “cowering” in a corner in a distressed state. Fortunately he wasn’t injured.
The incident in Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset, was witnessed by three members of the public, including an off-duty policeman.
Gibson later claimed he had kicked the dog because he thought it was about to go for him. He also claimed he shoved his partner in an act of self-defence.
He was charged with assaulting Miss Moody and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, which he denied.
Magistrates in Poole heard the couple had been together for three years but had a turbulent relationship.
They began rowing in the street at 6pm on June 29, 2017.
PC Scott Norman, of Thames Valley Police, was staying in a house in the street and looked outside when he heard shouting.
He said Gibson walked toward Miss Moody “very aggressively”.
He said: “She put her hand up to keep him a distance away. He slapped her hand away and gave her a shove. She had to take several steps back.
“She was definitely scared, I could tell by her voice and demeanor.”
PC Norman went to get his phone and call the police so he missed the attack on the dog.
Witness Robert Barabas said he saw Miss Moody and her friend, Anna Taylor, walk away from Gibson with the dog on a lead when he kicked him.
He said: “He kicked it from behind under the ribs. The dog flew at least half a metre into the air and then yelled in pain.”
Cyclist Satpal Sandhu added: “The dog was on a leash, I couldn’t hear what she was saying to him but he turned to her, shouted and kicked the dog.
“The dog wasn’t doing much, it wasn’t even barking. It visibly went up in the air by about a metre and yelped.”
The court heard a police officer went to Miss Moody’s flat afterwards and saw the dog cowering, curled up in a tight ball, clearly very shaken and in a distressed state.
Gibson failed to turn up at court for his trial but magistrates said the witness statements were consistent and found Gibson guilty of assault and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in his absence.
The magistrates said the case crossed the custody threshold and issued a warrant for Gibson’s arrest.
Sentencing: on 12 October 2017 the Daily Echo reported the following: Gibson was found guilty of assaulting a person at Bournemouth on 29/6/17. Also was found guilty of kicking a dog into the air at Bournemouth on 29/6/17. Also admits to failing to surrender to custody at Poole Magistrates on 21/9/17 having been released on bail in criminal proceedings on 21/8/17. Also admits to stealing alcohol and food items to the value of £125 belonging to Tesco store, Riverside Avenue, Bournemouth, on 12/7/17. Community order made. To participate in an accredited programme for 42 days. Building Better Relationships Programme. Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for a maximum of 20 days. To carry out unpaid work for 80 hours within the next 12 months. To pay £85 victim surcharge and £100 court costs.
#TheList Megan Green, born c. 1996, of River View Caravan Park, Mill Lane, Brigg DN20 8NY – for multiple counts of cruelty towards three horses
Gypsy traveller Green caused unnecessary suffering to a thoroughbred mare called Imi, by failing to provide veterinary care for her “chronic wounds” and subsequent bacterial infection, leading to illness and collapse; and failed to maintain her condition.
She also failed to maintain an appropriate body condition for a Shetland pony called Tidler.
All those offences took place at King St Paddocks, Oakley Carr, Woodmansey.
She also, at Mill Lane, Brigg, failed to provide adequate hoof care for Tidler, a gelding called Maverick, and a gelding called Zac.
Sentencing: 10 days of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £300 costs and an £85 surcharge. Banned from keeping equine animals for ten years.
#TheList Lesley Marieanne Duke, born c. 1964, of St Johns Square, Gosport PO12 4TS – caused her elderly dog to bleed and collapse
Duke was banned from keeping animals for five years after causing her 10-year-old German shepherd, known as Kitty Karna, to bleed and collapse, which ultimately led to her being put to sleep.
Duke admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog after she was seen struggling with blood coming from her injured paws.
The RSPCA were called on May 24, 2017, after Duke had been confronted by members of the public in Brockenhurst Road, Gosport.
Kitty Karna was bleeding from her paws after excessive walking in the extreme heat, with temperatures that day reaching 25C.
She subsequently collapsed, and despite initially recovering well, she was found to be suffering with kidney failure and had to be put to sleep.
RSPCA inspector Jenny Ride, who investigated the case, praised the strangers who stopped to help.
Jenny said: “Kitty had been walked excessively in extremely hot weather through the streets which caused her paws to bleed before she finally collapsed of heat exhaustion.
“Thankfully the kind people who saw her suffering rushed to her aid and took her to the vets where she was treated and deemed to be suffering.
“During hot weather, the RSPCA advise people to walk your dog in the morning or evening when it will not burn on the pavement or be at increased risk of heatstroke, and to be alert for signs of burned pads or other heat-related health issues.
“Dogs need exercise, even when it is hot, so walking your dog early in the morning or later in the evening can help mitigate risks associated with high temperatures.”
Sentencing: 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £50 court costs. Banned from keeping any animal for five years (expires September 2022).
#TheList Daniel Gerard Taggart of 2 Rockfield Drive, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1RL – for the neglect of a golden Labrador dog, who had had so little exercise his toenails had curled into his paw pads
Taggart was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the 9yo dog, named Barney, who was seized by Ards and North Down Borough Council’s animal welfare officer in January 2016.
A vet reported it was the worst case of toenail overgrowth he had seen, in more than 13 years of practice.
The vet estimated that the nails would have taken at least 18 months to get into the condition they were in, making it highly unlikely that the dog received any exercise in a long time.
#TheList Stewart John Milne, born 29/05/1988, of 30C St Columba Gardens, Dundee DD3 9NX – poured boiling water over his pet dog and failed to get treatment for his severe burns; dog put to sleep
Stewart Milne claimed he had suffered an epileptic fit while making a cup of tea and accidentally scalded the dog, a Staffy known as Buddy. This version of events was accepted by the court and Milne was only prosecuted over his failure to take the dog to the vet for treatment for his extensive burns.
Milne admitted a charge of causing the dog unnecessary suffering.
He also admitted possessing a knife, which he claimed he carried for protection after the animal neglect charge was made public.
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC jailed Milne for a total of 320 days at Dundee Sheriff Court.
The Scottish SPCA said Buddy initially responded well to treatment but subsequently developed a chronic skin disease and was put down.
The court was told Milne did not take the dog to a vet and only applied antiseptic cream to the animal.
Sheriff Drummond told Milne: “The charge concerning the lack of care for your dog is particularly concerning and the dog must have suffered quite a lot at your hands.”
The Scottish SPCA, which was involved in the investigation, welcomed the sentence.
Inspector Karen Cooper said Buddy would have been in “considerable pain”.
She said: “The wounds on Buddy were extensive, with several of them scabbed over and infected with yellow pus. They clearly needed treatment and would have been causing Buddy considerable pain.
“Buddy received the wounds after Milne suffered a fit while making coffee and spilled a kettle of boiling water over the dog.
“A responsible dog owner would have immediately sought veterinary treatment for the dog but sadly in this circumstance that was not the case.
“After responding well to treatment, Buddy unfortunately later developed a chronic skin disease which resulted in him being put to sleep following veterinary advice.
“We’re glad that Milne has been dealt with by the courts and hope he gives serious consideration to his ability to care for animals in the future
Sentencing: jailed for a total of 320 days including 145 days for the animal cruelty offence. He was not banned from owning an animal.
#TheList Danielle Rogers (aka Danielle Wood), born c. 1998, of Durham Road, Worcester WR5 and partner Keeley Scott, born c. 1998, of Chedworth Drive, Worcester WR4 – starved one dog to death with another found in an emaciated condition
Rogers and Scott were convicted in their absence in July of two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Patch and Lulu, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
The pair admitted dumping their crossbreed Lulu in a plastic bag in a park after she starved to death.
Their admission came after skinny Patch, a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier, was handed into Ambleside Vets in December 2016.
Rachel Hayward, a RSPCA inspector who was called by the concerned veterinary staff, said: “He was frightfully thin. You could see every bone in his body including the shape of his skull – he was a walking skeleton.
“He weighed just 9.8kg – around half what he should have weighed as an adult, male Staffy.”
Insp Hayward managed to trace Patch’s owners, who admitted that their second dog Lulu had died and they had dumped her body in a nearby park.
“Those poor dogs were locked inside a flat, hidden away from view and left to slowly die. Their basic needs simply weren’t met and as they lost more and more weight their owners simply ignored them,” she added.
“Sadly, it was too late for poor Lulu, but Patch had a chance and we were determined to get him back to health.”
Staff at Ambleside Vets gave Patch round-the-clock care to nurse him back to health and build his weight to 16kg.
His rehabilitation was made more difficult by a medical condition he was suffering from called megaesophagus, meaning his oesophagus did not function properly, so he couldn’t get food into his stomach easily.
Once he was strong enough, Patch went to the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, where staff set about trying to help him eat properly.
Insp Hayward added: “It worked and he soon caught the attention of dog-lover Lulu Jenkins, from St Albans, where he went off to join her and her pack of six other rescue dogs.
“I’m so pleased he got a happy ending after everything he has been through. He’ll never need to worry again about when his next meal is coming or whether he’ll eat that day.”
Sentencing: 12-month community orders with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement; ordered to pay £355 each. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Wendy Beddow, born c. 1965, of Maple Street, Ashington NE63 – left pet dog to suffer an ulcerated mass on his abdomen and a chronic eye condition; dog euthanised.
Beddow admitted causing unnecessary suffering to her overweight Bullmastiff by failing to seek medical attention for an ulcerated 20cm mass on his abdomen and a chronic eye condition.
An animal welfare officer from Northumberland County Council’s public health protection unit rescued the dog and took it to a vets in Blyth. The dog’s condition had by then become so bad that the decision was made to euthanise him to end his suffering.
A vet’s report that was presented in court stated that the dog, having been left for more than 48 hours in a condition unable to stand or move prior to seeking medical attention, was an act of neglect.
Sentencing: £386 in compensation and costs. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.
#TheList Judith Bedson (aka Judith Shufflebotham), born c. 1967, of Longton Road, Stone ST15 – left her pony to starve despite having access to hay
Bedson was found guilty of two offences: causing unnecessary suffering to a colt named Apache between 20 April and 20 May, 2016, and failing to meet his needs between 20 January and 20 May, 2016.
The court heard that Bedson had been receiving deliveries of hay but was failing to place it in the field in Vanity Lane, Oulton, where the three-year-old piebald cob was kept.
An RSPCA inspector later discovered that the bales of hay had gone mouldy.
Bedson told an RSPCA inspector that she had only had Apache for two weeks and that he was thin when she got him, but posts on social media proved she had owned him for a year.
She also told the RSPCA that she was attending to him at night, but there was never any evidence of food being left.
“We were being misled from the very start, from how long she had the pony, to how often she attended to see to him and his feeding regime,” said RSPCA inspector Laura Bryant.
“Unfortunately I know I will have to deal with many more people like Judith Bedson in my career, people who want an animal and do not take into consideration the time, knowledge, motivation or finances required to provide the animal with a suitable standard of care.
“Bedson built an elaborate story based on lies to try to argue she had only just rescued Apache, to explain his terrible state. The truth was she had already owned him for a year and simply wasn’t attending to feed him daily.
“I hope the sentence is a deterrent to those who think having a horse or any other animal is their right and that they can ignore good practice and allow an animal to suffer.”
Apache has since made a full recovery. He is currently being cared for at a private boarding facility.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.