Category Archives: Birds

Cruelty to domestic and wild birds – budgies, parrots, songbirds, pigeons, seagulls

Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire: Unnamed Minors

#TheList minors aged 16 and 17 years from Milford Haven – stole a tame pet chicken from her owner and tortured her to death.

Chicken Daisy was subjected to a prolonged and brutal attack at the hands of two teens from Milford Haven, Wales
Victim Daisy

Chicken Daisy was subjected to a prolonged and brutal attack at the hands of two sadistic savages and others, during which she was chased, set alight and had her neck hacked at with garden shears. She was finally killed with a pitchfork. The pet’s agonising ordeal was filmed for Snapchat and shared with other feral yobs in the group for their sick entertainment.

Daisy’s ordeal took place at the home of a third youth who was investigated but not charged.

In court a veterinary surgeon described the youths’ actions as “gratuitous torture”.

Daisy’s owner Michelle Owen wrote a victim impact statement which was read to the court.

“When I discovered Daisy was gone I blamed myself, I thought I hadn’t secured the coop. My youngest two children were devastated when Daisy had gone, they were crying over her,” she said.

“Daisy was very tame and friendly, it’s not the same going to the coop. I always thought my garden was safe and secure, now I don’t leave my dogs out in case they disappear.

“When I think about what happened that night and the way Daisy suffered, it goes beyond cruelty.

“She was a part of the family, more than just a chicken.”

Defending the youths in court, Mike Kelleher said that the pair were facing the consequence of their “reprehensible” actions.

He said: “This was a cruel and nasty horrible incident. However it started it went horribly, horribly wrong. They are here today to face the consequences.”

RSPCA Cymru has described the incident as “horrifying” and expressed concern at the age of those responsible.

“This poor chicken was subject to the most horrendous treatment – taken, beaten, stabbed and set alight,” said RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben.

“I shudder to think what the poor animal went through.

“The offences were horrifying, and it is always deeply worrying when young people commit such crimes. They will now be subject to our Breaking the Chain programme – which highlights the impact acts like this have on animals and their welfare standards.

“RSPCA Cymru wants to inspire a future generation of animal ambassadors – who share our compassion and empathy for our fellow living creatures. Hopefully, this prosecution sets a clear statement that behaviours like this are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

David Allen, head of education at RSPCA , said: “Clearly, these were disgusting offences and it is particularly worrying that young people are committing such acts. Fortunately, we know most young people will be horrified by what happened in Milford Haven.

“Our new Generation Kind scheme brings together a series of initiatives – including those in the classroom, support for teachers, programmes to support vulnerable looked-after and disadvantaged young people, and those targeted at youth offenders.

“It is hoped that Generation Kind will help create a generation of individuals who are kind, compassionate and caring towards animals.”

The youths pleaded guilty to an Animal Welfare Act offence, namely causing the chicken to suffer unnecessarily.

Sentencing: 12-month referral order, which includes the RSPCA intervention initiative mentioned above. The older youth was ordered to pay £380 in compensation, costs and charges and the younger one was ordered to pay courts and charges totalling £400. They were both banned from keeping any animal for a period of 12 months.

WalesOnline

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder

Fareham, Hampshire: James Goddard

#TheList: gypsy traveller James ‘Jimmy’ Goddard, born 06/06/1991, of 1 Mayles Close, Fareham PO17 5NF – beat a cockerel to death with a metal skewer as others filmed him

Filth: Gypsy Jimmy Goddard from Fareham was filmed by others beating a helpless cockerel to death with a metal skewer
Filth: Gypsy Jimmy Goddard from Fareham was filmed by others beating a helpless cockerel to death with a metal skewer

In a horrendous attack against a defenceless animal, Goddard chased the cockerel around a fenced area with a metal kebab skewer. As the cockerel attempts to run away, Goddard lunges at him, picks him up and beats him to death. As the bird dies Goddard celebrates with his arms in the air.

Police uncovered the video while carrying out a separate investigation.

Convicted animal abuser: gypsy Jimmy Goddard
A scan of convicted animal abuser Jimmy Goddard’s Facebook profile shows that his cruelty towards a helpless cockerel was not a one-off.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Will Mitchell described the violent footage: ‘Mr Goddard chases the bird around taking swipes with the 3ft-long metal skewer like a baseball bat.

‘He then grabs hold of the cockerel, holds him upside down by his feet and, while the bird frantically flaps around and tries to escape his clutches, he beats his head with the pole.

‘He swings at the poor bird again and again, hitting him in the head like a pinata.

‘He then throws the bird’s body onto the ground and celebrates the vicious kill.

‘It’s absolutely shocking to watch. His violent behaviour and the savage cruelty he shows towards this bird is difficult to comprehend.”

Sergeant Andy Williams from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team said: ‘We are pleased that Goddard has finally been punished for what really was a shocking and cowardly act against the animal.

‘We work closely with our partners from the RSPCA on a variety of rural and animal welfare matters.

‘Offences such as this have no place in modern society. When information is received about such offences, the Country Watch team is only too pleased to assist in investigating them and bringing offenders to justice.’

Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence; total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.

The News
The London Economic

Ely, Cardiff: John Llewellyn Jones

#TheList John Llewellyn Jones, born c. 1954, of Bishopston Road, Ely, Cardiff CF5 – killed a seagull when it tried to steal his chips

Llewellyn-Jones “smashed” the bird against a wall during a trip to Weston-super-Mare in July 2018.

He denied breaching the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 but was found guilty at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The RSPCA said: “He cared more for his chips than what he did to the gull.”

RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: “This was an unthinkable and despicable way to treat an animal.

“The gull was smashed against a wall by the man… and bystanders, including children, had to look on as the man killed the gull.”

The RSPCA advise people not to feed gulls and to dispose of rubbish properly, particularly in seaside areas more prone to the birds.

Sentencing: 12-week curfew; total costs and charges of £835.

BBC News

Kingston Upon Hull: Rebecca McHugh

#TheList Rebecca Dawn McHugh, born 08/11/1981 of Boulevard, Hull HU3 – left animals to starve to death in her abandoned pet shop

Former pet shop owner Rebecca McHugh abandoned bearded dragons, a corn snake, a leopard gecko and a Tegu Lizard when she closed the business. Only three of the animals left behind survived the ordeal.
Former pet shop owner Rebecca McHugh abandoned bearded dragons, a corn snake, a leopard gecko and a Tegu Lizard when she closed the business. Only three of the animals left behind survived the ordeal.

Rebecca ‘Becky’ McHugh has been disqualified from keeping caged exotics, rabbits, reptiles, guinea pigs and caged birds for life, after a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

In January 2018, McHugh was convicted in her absence of four offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The RSPCA was called to Hull Pets and Garden on Beverley Road in June 2018, almost five months after the shop closed.

RSPCA inspector Jilly Dickinson said: “The shop closed down in January, and I attended in June after energy suppliers entered to switch off the supply and found the exotics – it appears they had simply been left behind after the shutters had gone down for the final time.

“Five animals were alive, but only three of these – a corn snake and two bearded dragons – survived.

“The bearded dragons were underweight, and one of them had a horrendous burden of mites, leaving them unable to open their eyes, lethargic, anaemic and dehydrated.

“There was an underweight leopard gecko with long standing metabolic bone disease and subsequent current and historic fractures, and eye problems which were untreatable – meaning that they unfortunately had to be put to sleep.

“A Tegu lizard was described by the vet as being in the worst condition he had ever seen – completely emaciated, dehydrated and lethargic. The Tegu unfortunately didn’t pull through and died not long after coming into our care.”

The surviving animals were signed over to the RSPCA and have now been rehomed.

Sentencing: two-year community order including 250 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified for life from keeping caged exotics, rabbits, reptiles, guinea pigs and caged birds.

RSPCA News
Hull Daily Mail

Northern Ireland: Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid

#TheList Andrew Gildea, born 24/02/1995, from Larne and Darren Kincaid, born c. 1999, from north Befast – kidnapped a seagull and tortured him on social media

As funny as a turd in a punch bowl: Darren Kincaid (left) and Andrew Gildea subjected a terrified seagull to a two-hour ordeal for laughs on social media

Gildea and Kincaid Belfast lured a hungry Black Headed Gull they dubbed ‘Steven Seagull’ towards them using chips before bundling him into the footwell of Gildea’s car.

After driving the panic-stricken bird around Larne and Belfast, parading him before friends and family, the pair took the gull to Gildea’s house and live-streamed several videos of them torturing the bird on Facebook.

The footage caused uproar among animal lovers online and they were reported to police before handing themselves in.

Appearing at Laganside Courthouse in Belfast, both men entered guilty pleas to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and will return later in March 2019 for sentencing.

Prosecution lawyers told the court several videos were uploaded to Facebook on June 11, 2018, over a two-hour span, detailing the bird’s ordeal.

In the first video, Gildea can be seen grabbing the bird and trailing it into the car, capturing it in the passenger footwell and putting up the windows to prevent its escape.

The court heard the bird was “flapping and clearly very distressed”.

Subsequent videos show the bird standing on a toolbox in Gildea’s garage being poked and teased and again clearly in distress before being trapped in a plastic box.

After surrendering to Larne police station, Gildea admitted enticing the bird with chips and livestreaming the videos, but said he never intended to cause harm to the creature.

Kincaid admitted being a passenger in the car and taking the bird to several addresses, but claimed to have experience handling pigeons and said he was aware of how to handle birds correctly.

He also told police he had drilled holes in the plastic box the bird was trapped in, so it would be able to breathe.

The court heard ‘Steven Seagull’ survived the ordeal after being released by Gildea and Kincaid, but district judge William McNallly was unimpressed with their antics.

Adjourning the matter so he could watch the video before sentencing the pair, he said: “I remember seeing a cat playing with a mouse and your behaviour reminds me of that cruelty.

“Playing with this bird is as cruel a thing as I have heard about in a long time. These are horrid videos with many views and I regard it as a very serious matter.”

Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid from Northern Ireland filmed themselves torturing a helpless seagull for laughs on social media
Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid from Northern Ireland filmed themselves torturing a helpless seagull for laughs on social media

Despite a backlash over his treatment of the bird on social media, Gildea continued to joke about ‘Steven Seagull’ for months after the incident on his Facebook account, with his friends exchanging jokes, news stories and memes relating to seagulls.

However, he did also post a message on Facebook expressing regret for the incident.

He said: “I’m probably the most kind-hearted person and I would do anything for everyone. Everyone I know would vouch for me being a nice guy. However I’ll only be ever remembered as the man who allegedly stole a seagull.”

Gildea and Kincaid face up to six months in prison for the offence of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and are due to be sentenced later this month.

Belfast Telegraph

Boxley, Kent: Langley Beck

#TheList Langley Beck, born c. 1963, or Bell Lane, Boxley, Maidstone, Kent ME14 39G – kept seven dogs and three ducks without water inside his home

Langley Beck from Boxley, Kent, has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions
Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

Reclusive Langley Beck is said to own 80 acres of property but kept dogs in rooms with surfaces and furniture covered in excrement. Three ducks were found in a ‘hot’ caravan where all the doors and windows were closed. It is believed they had been left without water for 12 hours and had to be euthanised.

Beck, who is believed to live alone at the bleak property in Boxley, is the last member of the area’s oldest farming family.

Medway Magistrates Court heard police and an RSPCA investigator visited his home in July 2017.

Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

RSPCA head investigator Ellie Burtcor entered one portacabin containing four dogs and said her eyes began to water from the stench.

She said: ‘It was absolutely disgusting, my eyes were watering with the urine smell that was coming from there.

‘There was an overwhelming smell of faeces and it was very damp and stagnant.

Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

‘There were piles of faeces everywhere, faeces scraped along the floor, rubbish boxes, there were broken china ornaments.

‘Just everything that was completely unsuitable for a dog to be running around in.’

Giving evidence, Beck said the dogs had all been fed and given water that day and he would have been able to tend to the ducks if he hadn’t been occupied with the police arriving.

When asked about his routine of cleaning the areas the dogs lived in, he remained silent.

Despite the conditions, a vet who inspected the dogs said they were healthy.

A post mortem examination of the ducks concluded that they had gone at least 12 hours without water.

One was in such a bad state it was immediately put down while the other two were euthanised later.

Beck says his family have lived in Boxley for more than 100 years, making them the longest running residents of the village.

Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activities, 100 hours of unpaid work; £1,800 in costs plus an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Metro
KentOnline

Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire: Michelle Smith

#TheList hoarder Michelle Smith, born c. 1982, of Wester Culvie, Aberchirder, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 7RB – failed to provide adequate diet, environment and veterinary attention to multiple animals in her care

Hoarder Michelle Smith of Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire, kept dozens of animals in atrocious conditions and allowed some to starve to death
Evidence showed that Michelle Smith hadn’t fed some of her animals for six weeks. Clearly the tubby hoarder didn’t deprive herself of any food.

In a case involving 63 animals including 19 dogs and 21 cats as well as ducks and chickens, Smith was summoned to Aberdeen Sheriff Court to face charges of neglect.

Smith pleaded guilty to five charges, including failure to provide veterinary attention, failure to ensure animals’ needs were met by being deprived of food and fresh water, by being kept in an unsuitable environment, failure to protect the animals from suffering/injury and disease and failure to provide an adequate nutritional diet which ultimately led to animals being caused unnecessary suffering.

Hoarder Michelle Smith of Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire, kept dozens of animals in atrocious conditions and allowed some to starve to death
Kittens starved to death by hoarder Michelle Smith of Aberchirder, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire

Commenting on the investigation and court case, senior Scottish SPCA inspector Alison Simpson said, “After receiving a call to our animal helpline regarding welfare concerns I arrived at the locus and was met by three dogs. I noticed a residential caravan which was not used as a residence but rather had cats in pens at the rear interior.

“Opposite the house I saw a rabbit hutch where kittens could be heard.

“I first asked Smith if I could look in the rabbit hutch where I heard the kittens, it was a two-storey hutch and stank of faeces and urine. The kittens were clawing and climbing at the mesh front. Within the hutch there were eight small kittens alive, around four/five weeks old, all were extremely thin, dirty and wet. There were also three dead kittens which appeared to be emaciated.

Hoarder Michelle Smith of Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire, kept dozens of animals in atrocious conditions and allowed some to starve to death
Hoarder Michelle Smith kept animals in atrocious conditions

“After removing the kittens from the hutch and placing them in my van we then entered the caravan and the stench and presence of cat urine and faeces was overwhelming. On initial inspection I noted one kitten running loose and two areas within the caravan which were pens with mesh doors. I also noticed one dead kitten within one of the pens.

“Venturing back outside I noticed four runs containing poultry, in total seven ducks and eight hens, along with two dead ducks. Smith then stated one of the dogs had got into the run that morning which may account for the deaths. The dead ducks appeared extremely thin.

“Upon veterinary examination it was noted that the caravan contained a considerable amount of faeces, both in the litter tray and on the floor which had built up over a period of a minimum of three weeks with little ventilation. There was no food or water available to the cats inside.

“On an initial inspection of the first caravan room and the seven cats inside they were all noted as being underweight, some severely, and there was evidence of chronic eye issues, gingivitis, ear mites and varying degrees of matting/build-up of faeces. The deceased kitten was in an extremely emaciated state.

“Within the second room of the caravan there was another deceased kitten. This room was in a similar state to the first room in the caravan, with faecal matter covering the room and cats. The six kittens in this room were underweight and the deceased kitten was in an extremely thin/emaciated state.

“Once the vet had examined the kittens which had been removed from the rabbit hutch they were found to be in poor body condition and covered faeces and urine. The kittens all had dirty ears and ear mites.

“All poultry examined at the locus were significantly underweight with two being deceased. Two of the hens were quiet, and hunched over, indicating illness. The vet believed the birds had not had their nutritional requirements met for a minimum of seven days. The ducks were in the same condition, two were kept in a pen by themselves as Smith stated they had been injured by a dog earlier on that day. There was a wound on one of the ducks which had scabbed over. We requested food to aid us examining the birds and when we gave this to them, they were ravenous.

“After being removed, the animals were thoroughly examined by a vet and later taken to one of our rehoming centres.

“Smith fully cooperated with our investigation and signed the animals which were removed over to the Society. This meant we were able to rehome them once they had made full recoveries and did not have to wait for sentencing before doing so.

Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill rejected the procurator fiscal’s call for Smith to be prevented from keeping all animals and instead let her keep her eight dogs. She cannot keep any other pets for 10 years.

Sentencing: ten-year ban on owning and keeping animals, excluding dogs, with a further sentence deferred for six months.

Scottish SPCA
The Sun

Jaywick, Essex: Monshur Alom

#TheList company director Monshur Alom, born 28/11/1981, of 169 Golf Green Road, Jaywick, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 2RL – exposed his Bengal cats to 31 degree heat and left ducks outside without fresh food or water for more than a week

Convicted animal abuser Monshur Alom of Stepney, London, and with links to Jaywick, Essex

Chelmsford magistrates were shown graphic images of the animals’ living conditions during an eight-day period in June 2018, before RSPCA inspectors were able to contact owner Monshur Alom.

Alom, a furniture dealer trading as Royal London Antiques and director of a company named Cheque Bid Ltd, admitted to three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

The animals were being kept at the address in Golf Green Road, Jaywick, so the new dad could renovate his other home in Sidney Street, Stepney, London to accommodate the animals and his growing family.

Lauren Bond, prosecuting, called him “clearly unfit” to look after animals.

The ducks, and exotic cats, which he had no licence to keep, are now with the RSPCA.

Ms Bond said: “The inspector was overwhelmed by the heat in the conservatory and the ammonia smell burnt his nose.

“There was blood over the floor as though the cats had dragged raw meat but there was no sign of a carcass. There was a trough of water which was bright green, and large litter trays that appeared very full.

“Outside the ducks were confined to a one metre by three metre alleyway. There was liquid faeces on the floor and it smelt disgusting.”

It was his first time before the court in relation to animal welfare.

Mrs Scoot, mitigating, explained life had got on top of him and he had also been unwell.

Convicted animal abuser Monshur Alom of Stepney, London, and with links to Jaywick, Essex

However, he did accept his actions were a “form of neglect”.

She said: “He’s had the cats for two years and there’s never been any concern or need for the RSPCA to address him or the family.

“Unfortunately, the cats weren’t litter trained so he had them in the property for a short time and renovations were being made to their current property to give them appropriate living conditions.

“He’d had the ducks for significantly less time. A friend was going to kill them so he took the ducks and was going to find another home for them.

“He didn’t plan to keep them long term.”

Sentencing:
180 hours of unpaid work; £685 costs. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Southend Standard

Washford, Somerset: Heather Stanton

#TheList hoarder Heather Stanton, born c. 1958, of Barn End, Williton Road, Washford, Somerset TA23 0NU – left several animals to suffer in squalor with untreated health conditions

Some of the pets rescued from animal abuser Heather Stanton from Washford, Somerset
Some of the pets who suffered appalling neglect at the hands of their negligent owner Heather Stanton

Stanton was found guilty of the mistreatment of 11 dogs, including a sheepdog, a Jack Russell Terrier, Chinese Crested type dogs and Pomeranian type dogs.

Some of the pets rescued from animal abuser Heather Stanton from Washford, Somerset

The animals had a number of conditions including eye and skin infections which were not treated.

Stanton was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a white lionhead rabbit by confining the animal to the detriment of his wellbeing, to which she had pleaded not guilty.

Stanton pleaded not guilty to causing suffering to a white domestic cat but was again found to be guilty.

She also admitted to the mistreatment of a tortoise and six birds in her care.

One of the dogs mistreated by irresponsible Heather Stanton

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel said: “This was an upsetting case of extreme neglect for which there can be no excuse.

“Stanton had more animals than she could cope with and was unable to care for them adequately, as a result sadly many of the animals were suffering.

“All owners are responsible for meeting the needs of the animals in their care and we now look forward to finding these animals the loving homes they deserve.”

Sentencing:
Fined £5,000 and £85 costs. Community order of 80 hours of unpaid work. Disqualified from owning dogs, cats, birds and tortoises for five years under the Animal Welfare Act.

Somerset County Gazette
SomersetLive

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In April 2019 Stanton’s appeal against her five-year disqualification order was rejected.