#TheList Tracey Ann Gray, born c. 1968, of 15 Pine Close, Lincoln LN1 3SB – for cruelty to a domestic cat
Gray pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a domestic cat. She was fined £100, ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £30 and costs of £100. She was deprived of the ownership of the animal and for its disposal.
#TheList Lynda Spalding, born c. 1961, of 25 Sparks Way, Highbridge, Somerset TA9 3QL – left two horses to suffer in agony with horrendous untreated injuries
Spalding pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Concerns had been raised by members of the public about the welfare of the two horses and when RSPCA officers responded they found the animals had suffered deep wounds to their forelimbs.
Spalding was found to be the owner of the horses and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two horses and failing to provide veterinary care for the animals.
The Highbridge resident was also in breach of a five-year disqualification order which had banned her from owning horses until 2019.
Spalding used baby’s nappies, plastic bags and sellotape to protect the horses’ leg wounds and called a ‘knacker’s man’ instead of a vet.
Both horses had to be put to sleep because of the severity of their untreated injuries.
RSPCA inspector Hayley Lawrence who investigated alongside her colleague inspector Marie Griffiths told Somerset Live: “This was a very distressing case where horses were left to suffer needlessly as a result of irresponsible ownership and lack of care.
“These two horses were both left with serious injuries to their front legs for which no veterinary attention was sought.
“Lynda Spalding was also in breach of a disqualification order, having been previously prosecuted and convicted of cruelty towards horses in 2014.
“Courts impose disqualification orders on people convicted on animal welfare offences to protect further animals from suffering and it is saddening that she ignored that order and went on to cause further suffering to these poor horses.
“We are grateful to the member of the public who contacted us. We depend on the public to be our eyes and ears and we take breaches of bans very seriously – as do the courts.”
Sentencing: Jailed for 18 weeks. £815 in court costs. Lifetime ban on keeping horses.
#TheList George Barrett, born 31/08/1998, of Frosthole Close, Fareham PO15 6D* – left his pet cat locked alone in an empty flat for several weeks; cat named Thomas found starved to death in his carrier
Barrett, a professional chef at Cam’s Mill Fareham, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a black and white cat named Thomas after he failed to receive a suitable diet between September 16 2017 and November 23 2017
RSPCA hief inspector Jen Ride, who investigated, said: “This was a case of horrific neglect which sadly led to the death of Thomas.
“Barrett had abandoned his cat with just one bowl of food and one bowl before he locked the door and left the flat he had been renting.
“It’s thought that Thomas managed to survived for a number of weeks by drinking from the toilet. When his partially decomposed body was discovered he was curled up in his cat carrier just skin and bones.
“The saddest part of all is this could have been avoided and Thomas could still be alive today. There is never an excuse for simply walking away and leaving an animal to face a long slow death from starvation.”
Sentencing: 10 hours of unpaid work, ten rehabilitation activity days; a total of £285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for just five years (expires April 2023).
#TheList Lisa Joanne Canning, born August 1967, of 2 Railway Cottages, East Aberthaw, Barry CF62 3DA – ran a dog breeding business that was a front for Welsh puppy farms
Lisa Canning ran a dog breeding business called 4 Small Paws and was the sole director of the company behind it, which was called LJC Kennels.
Prosecutors said the business was originally based at Railway Cottages, but moved to Mount Pleasant Farm, which was not a licensed address.
Canning advertised dogs including a cockapoo (a cocker spaniel-poodle cross) that had no cocker spaniel in it.
Between 2016 and 2017 she operated as 4 Small Paws and made £50,000 from sales.
Canning admitted four charges of fraud and of one unfair commercial practice.
The court heard that while she was a licensed breeder, she bred far more animals than she was permitted and sold puppies for puppy farms in west Wales, lying about their genetic makeup.
Trading from East Aberthaw and then Castle-upon-Alun, she sold dogs as sought-after breeds, falsely claiming they had full vaccination and medical histories.
Some dogs were bred in breach of her licence, while others – such as cockapoos, cocker spaniels, chocolate Labradors, cavipoos, pugs and Scottish terriers – were sourced from unknown locations. Advertising on sites such as Gumtree, she placed 266 adverts for dogs.
The court heard one customer who thought they were buying a cockapoo paid £650 for a DNA test and found there was no cocker spaniel in the dog.
Another woman who bought what she was told was a Labrador discovered it was was 50% cocker spaniel, 37% Labrador and 12% golden retriever, following a £750 DNA test.
Canning’s business was described as “chaotic”. Prosecutors said it was hard to establish how many puppies she bred, but estimated she made £50,000 from the sale of more than 100 puppies.
Following her arrest, a number of her animals were placed with dog welfare charity Hope Rescue.
While she claimed she had been through a difficult divorce and was struggling to cope, Judge Thomas Crowther said her business was “a front for puppy farms”.
He added: “The harm is that you play on people’s emotions, children especially.”
Sentencing: 30-week sentence, suspended for two years, and told she must complete 200 hours unpaid work and pay costs and compensation totalling £50,000.
#TheList Jack Henry Kavanagh, born c. 1991, and wife Danielle Kavanagh, born c. 1992, both of Sutton Way, Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port CH65 – starved their two dogs; only one survived.
Jack and Danielle Kavanagh pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to border collies Freddie and Harvey by failing to provide adequate nutrition, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Harvey sadly had to be put to sleep as he weighed just seven kilos. Freddie was found in the nick of time by RSPCA officers and has now been placed with a loving family.
RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “This was a very distressing case to have dealt with and one that will remain with me for a long time.
“Starving animals to the extent we have seen in this instance is just appalling and hard to comprehend.”
The animal charity was alerted to the dogs’ plight by a concerned member of the public who had spotted them.
Animal Welfare Officer John Littlewood attended the address and was told that one of the dogs, Harvey, had died that morning and was at the vets.
It was confirmed that two-year-old Harvey had collapsed and was severely emaciated when he was taken to the vets by the owners. He had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.
Inspector Joynes was called in to investigate and visited the property to find Freddie, who weighed 11 kilos, still alive in the back garden. A healthy two-year-old border collie should weigh between 19 and 24 kilos.
He said: “I remember seeing him and thinking he was the skinniest alive dog that I had ever dealt with. There was no muscle mass to him, he was all skin and bones.”
Insp Joynes took Harvey’s body from the vets for a post mortem, which revealed there was no underlying health problem that would have caused Harvey’s emaciation. This meant it was due to starvation.
Insp Joynes added: “It was really heart-breaking to see poor Harvey. As I lifted his body from the vets for evidence, he weighed absolutely nothing. Freddie didn’t weigh much more so I’m so glad we were able to reach him in time.”
Insp Joynes added: “District Judge Sanders stated that the Kavanaghs had caused both dogs to suffer a great deal and that the pair had let their animals down badly. He said that they had to learn to take responsibility for their actions or lack of action as in this instance.
“I’ll never forget being shown a large, unopened bag of dog food by Mrs Kavanagh as part of her suggestion that the dogs were being fed adequately. This investigation has shown that this was simply not the case and it is a cause of great sadness for me that poor Harvey did not make it.”
Freddie’s recovery was slow as he needed to be fed small amounts as his stomach had shrunk. Over the next few weeks he started to put on weight and now is living in a new home.
Insp Joynes added: “It is fantastic to see Freddie looking so healthy and to know he is now in a loving home. It could have been such a different story, as it was for poor Harvey. Freddie, however has made a miraculous recovery and now lives with a loving family.
“I’ve recently been made aware that he now has his own passport and will be going on holiday to France with his new family in the near future which is just lovely.”
Sentencing: Both were sentenced to 12-weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement. They were each ordered to pay £250 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Both were banned from keeping all animals for 10 years.
#TheList Robin Jefferies, born 30/5/1968, and Pauline Vinall, born 22/5/1987, both of Dormington Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth PO6 – let their horses become emaciated and burdened with life-threatening worms
Robin Jefferies and Pauline Vinall were found guilty of 13 animal welfare offences relating to horses after a seven-day trial at Portsmouth Magistrates Court.
Prosecuting, Sara Pratt told magistrates how the pair allowed some of their horses to suffer ‘prolonged neglect’.
Some battled a ‘worm infestation’, she said, which could have killed them.
Ms Pratt said: ‘Those horses were perhaps very fortunate they remained alive.’
According to statistics, she outlined, as many as 70 per cent of horses fighting the same infestation typically die.
RSPCA chief inspector, Jen Ride, said the pair’s animal offences were reflective of the so-called ‘equine [horse] crisis’.
She said: ‘It’s a prolonged problem of breeding out of control and not having the land or management for such a huge numbers of equines.
‘There were about 35 horses when we visited and we removed nine.’
Jefferies was already banned from keeping animals following a cruelty conviction in October 2014. The court acknowledged that Vinall had abetted Jefferies in breaching that ban.
Magistrate Jonathan Berry called Jefferies’ most recent neglect a ‘flagrant breach’ of his previous disqualification.
Sentencing: Jefferies: 22-week suspended custodial sentence; lifetime ban on keeping horses reimposed with no right of appeal for 10 years.
Vinall: conditional discharge; seven-year ban on keeping horses. Vinall will pay £20 for her discharge.
#TheList fox hunter Neil Frederick Pinkerton, born 19/03/1988, of 26 Clandeboye Street, Belfast BT5 4QT – ACQUITTED of cruelty offences related to animal fighting
Sadistic Neil Pinkerton posted graphic images and video of his terrier dog, known as Judy, engaged in a savage fight with a fox, to the private Facebook group North Coast Lurchers on the Beam.
In the clip, the fox can be seen locked muzzle to muzzle with Judy after the pair were dug out from the wild animal’s underground den.
Pinkerton was charged after a member of the public contacted an anti-hunting group, which then passed on the information to police.
The father-of-two was accused of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and fox both on December 28, 2016.
He faced a third charge of causing the terrier unnecessary suffering by failing to treat or get her “adequate’’ veterinary treatment on January 25, 2017, the date she was seized by police at his home.
But he walked out of Belfast Crown Court after his one-day trial was brought to an end when Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland directed the jury to acquit him.
Judge McFarland told the jury the fox clearly had the dog by the muzzle and “no suffering was caused to the fox’’.
He also said evidence from a vet who examined Judy after she was seized stated she would have been “in discomfort”, but added the pair were only attached for a short period of time.
The decision sparked outrage from anti-hunting groups, including the League Against Cruel Sports NI. Further shock was caused in April 2018 when it was announced that Judy was to be returned to Pinkerton.
Janice Watts, senior public affairs officer for the League Against Cruel Sports NI, told local newspaper Sunday Life: “We are appalled and sickened that Judy is being returned to Pinkerton given how she suffered at his hands.
“The pictures of Judy’s horrific injuries speak for themselves, yet our justice system is allowing her to go back to Pinkerton.
“The League Against Cruel Sports and PSNI worked very hard to ensure that the person behind this awful brutality was appropriately punished.
“We would like to thank the PSNI for their hard work and assistance throughout this case.”
Sunday Life previously reported how bloodthirsty Pinkerton relished getting his dogs to kill foxes in a closed Facebook group.
He wrote in the North Coast Lurchers Under the Beam page: “Fantastic hunt today, dug (a) lovely fox for wee bitch…big f* killed the thing in (the) hole, crushed its head. Fs. Lol.”
In another exchange seen by Sunday Life, he boasted to a fellow member: “That lurcher killing them but to kill and draw, fs!”.
Pinkerton also shared a graphic video of one hunt and sickening images of both the dead fox and the savaged, bleeding dog, captioned: “One’s going to feel this in the morning, one’s not”.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where hunting with dogs is still legal.
#TheList Gareth Lewis of 3 Snail Creep Terrace, Cwmavon, Pontypool NP4 8XE – failed to treat a painful, infected wound on his dog’s body
Gareth Lewis, who is in his 50s, pleaded guilty to causing the dog to suffer unnecessarily at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court.
He failed to suitably treat an infected wound on the body of his Staffordshire bull terrier, named Cass, instead claiming he was treating the abscess himself with antiseptic spray.
RSPCA Cymru was alerted when members of the public noticed Cass with an open wound to the shoulder and neck area. The charity learned that an abscess on the dog had burst in November 2016.
The animal had then been given pain relief by vets, who recommended the collection of pus be removed, or the dog be given further veterinary care. The RSPCA gave the owner a free voucher for veterinary treatment to help the dog – something he opted not to use.
Lewis instead claimed he had opted to treat the wound himself using antiseptic spray; treatment the RSPCA have said was “wholly inappropriate” and which led the dog to suffer.
The lump has now been removed from the dog’s neck, and he has been safely rehomed – and renamed Taz – via the RSPCA’s Newport Animal Centre on Hartridge Farm Road.
RSPCA inspector Emma Smith said: “This poor Staffordshire bull terrier has suffered because his owner failed to ensure he was given the veterinary treatment he so badly needed.
“A nasty, painful infected wound in the dog’s neck and shoulders needed urgent care – but despite recommendations in November 2016 that it would need to be removed, Cass’ owner failed to help his dog.
“Multiple attempts to work with the owner – including the provision of a free veterinary voucher – sadly failed; given his refusal to give this poor dog the help he so desperately needed.
“Claims that the dog was being treated with antiseptic spray are wholly inappropriate, and we’re just relieved we were able to intervene in time to help this poor dog, who now – having been rehomed from the RSPCA’s Newport Animal Centre – has a second chance of forever home happiness, with his new name Taz.
“This case highlights the importance of ensuring appropriate veterinary treatment is given to pets. People have important legal responsibilities towards their animals – and Taz’s ordeal highlights the potential consequences if these are not adhered to.”
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence – suspended for twelve months. 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £415 fines and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for ten years (expires April 2028).
#TheList livestock centre foreman Christopher John Raw, born c. 1978, of Gisburn Road, Clitheroe BB7 – allowed lamb with broken back to suffer for 29 hours at Gisburn auction mart
Raw, a yard foreman with Gisburn Auction Mart, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Blackburn magistrates said the lamb was described as “shivering, trembling and fitting” after Raw had been moved it to an isolated shippon.
But it was not until the following day when another member of staff persuaded the manager to come and look at the animal that it was shot to put it out of its misery.
Nick McNamara, prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, said the incident happened at Gisburn Auction Mart in December 2016. The lamb had been trapped in a gate as it was being penned on a Saturday.
“It was destroyed on the Sunday which means it went untreated for 29 hours,” said Mr McNamara. “We say this was a prolonged period of suffering for an animal. We say a vet should have been arranged immediately or the animal should have been put out of its misery immediately.”
Mr McNamara said a post-mortem examination showed the lamb’s spinal cord had been completely fractured and the animal would have been in pain right up to the moment it was destroyed.
Mr McNamara said it was accepted Raw had told Thomas Robinson, the chairman of the directors, and another director. Robinson had told him to move the animal to a quiet place and monitor it.
“Neither of the directors went to examine the animal,” said Mr McNamara.
Paul Huxley, defending, said his client had sought assistance and advice from Robinson, of Catlow Farm, Clitheroe, who faced a similar charge but has pleaded not guilty (no update on his case found).
“He sought that assistance from his boss,” said Mr Huxley. “He raised concerns, as he had been told to do, and Mr Robinson said bed it down, give it food and water and lets see how it goes. He did exactly that, rightly or wrongly.”
Mr Huxley said his client didn’t want to push all the blame onto the company and accepted he should have used his initiative more when he checked on the animal and saw it hadn’t moved.
“Not for a second did he want that animal lying there in pain,” said Mr Huxley. “He was well intentioned but incompetent and bitterly regrets that day.”
Sentencing: three-month curfew; total of £1,085 costs and charges.