Category Archives: exotic birds

Bordesley Green, Birmingham: Mohammed Nabeel and Nazar Hussain

#TheList Nazar Hussain, born 28/02/1969, of 109 Rotherfield Road, Birmingham B26 2SH, and Mohammed Nabeel, born May 1991, of 50 Ludlow Road, Birmingham B8 3BY – for animal welfare offences at pet shop Bordesley Green Pet & Aquatics

Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions
Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions

Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5EP, admitted multiple animal welfare offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Hussain pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Mohammed 'Nabz' Nabeel was the manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics, but failed to look after the animals properly
Mohammed ‘Nabz’ Nabeel was the manager of the pet store but failed to look after the animals properly

The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.

The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:

  • A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
  • Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
  • A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
  • Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water

The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.

A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.

Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.

District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.

Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Sentencing: 10 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. Total costs of £5,600 between them. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years.

Birmingham Updates

Preston, Lancashire: Bradley Tomes

#TheList unlicensed animal trader Bradley Michael Tomes, born 27/04/1995, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston PR4 – kept dozens of exotic animals in filthy conditions and with untreated injuries

Some of the animals rescued from Bradley Tomes of Preston, Lancashire

Tomes pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act after dozens of neglected exotic animals had to be rescued by the RSPCA.

The offences relate to six iguanas; two mara (large rodents from South America); 16 peafowl; two pelicans; three agouti (a rodent native to America and South America); five porcupines; one green parakeet; two jardine parrots; one golden pheasant; one green winged macaw; one white necked raven and one cape parrot.

In January 2019 the RSPCA were called by police to a farm on Taylors Meanygate in Tarleton and found the animals being kept in squalid and unsuitable conditions. The charity then attended a second address on Moss Lane, Tarleton where a shed-type building at the back of the premises contained a number of animals.

RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “Some of these animals were species we as RSPCA inspectors of many years’ experience had never dealt with before, and it was a shock to see them kept in such conditions.

“Both locations were filthy. Many of the animals were in accommodation that was obviously completely unsuitable, did not have access to food or water, or were suffering.

“At the farm, we found two mara inside a small plastic transportation crate on the floor of one of the make-shift buildings. Mara are a large rodent who stand up on their hind legs. The height of the crate was 300mm, or just 12 inches. The depth of the crate was 560mm, and the length was 870mm giving no real room for them to move around.

“A squalid enclosure at the same location housed three agoutis, two pelican and 13 peafowl (pictured above).

“Four porcupines (pictured right) were in a pen which was wet and muddy with just a small structure for shelter – temperatures on site were close to freezing with snow and driving rain.

“At the second address a macaw was found in a black crate, similar to a dog crate. The bird’s tail feathers were touching the sides of the crate.

“The iguanas were at this location too – all six of which were in poor body condition and four had injuries to their tails.”

Two animals, an Agouti and a Mara, have subsequently died, and the court heard further dead birds and animals were discovered at the same locations but are not subject to charges, as the cause of death cannot be established.

In mitigation the court heard that Tomes had an interest in animals all of his life and had been employed as a zoo keeper.

He had signed all of the animals over in February and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had gone through a difficult break up but had now turned his life around and had a new job and new relationship.

The surviving animals have been rehomed to specialist keepers.

Sentencing: 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation days; 120 hours of community service; total of £615 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years with no appeal for two years.

Lancashire Post
RSPCA 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

Faversham, Kent: Sara Ross

#TheList animal sanctuary owner Sara Jane Ross, born 01/02/1954, of Gardeners Cottage, Chalky Lane, Boughton-under-Blean, Faversham ME13 9SP – failed to meet the needs of horses, cats, dogs and birds in her care

Sanctuary founder Sara Ross from  Faversham, Kent,  mistreated animals

Ross founded the Animal Sanctuary UK, based in Lake End Road, Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, which was raided by the RSPCA on May 31, 2017.

The sanctuary had fallen into a state of disrepair with dilapidated, vermin-infested sheds housing animals, abandoned industrial machinery lying around and piles of litter and manure in animal enclosures.

RSPCA experts had reported horses lying or standing in their own urine or faeces on boggy paddocks that did not have enough grass. They criticised a lack of food and the presence of flies and vermin – with rats running in and out of the animals’ cages.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary
Appalling conditions on Sara Ross’s animal sanctuary

Seven cats and eight dogs were confined together inside a single caravan.

Vast swathes of litter were also found where the animals slept, as well as dead rats and mice strewn about. Inspectors found three adult cats confined to a cage only big enough for a kitten.

Other livestock were kept in cramped conditions while some stood as high as 6ft off the ground on rotting hay. They were suffering numerous diseases and many were kept in tiny cages which were unfit for purpose.

The judge saw further clips of the video which showed birds kept in tiny cages with small rings attached to their legs cutting into the flesh. Included also was a turkey kept in a tiny living space fit only for small birds.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that the appalling conditions were found after whistleblowers reported the cruelty, abuse and lack of care.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary

The prosecutor said: ‘Statements from various volunteers suggest the abuse had been ongoing for some time and this abuse took place in a commercial context.

‘Volunteers were allowed to manage and run the farm who had insufficient experience or training to be running such a farm.’

‘The RSPCA had in fact discovered that she (Ross) had hidden many of the animals off-site. Many of those animals have not since re-appeared and could not be found in a second RSPCA check.’

Ross first set up the now-disbanded Horse Refuge in 1994 before opening The Animal Sanctuary UK in June 2012.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary

She pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to meet the needs of the animals and birds in her care.

District judge Sophie Toms told her: “Something went very badly wrong. I accept you had no intention of mistreating any animals.

“In your mind you were doing your best but your best was not good enough.”

Nigel Weller, representing Ross, said she had been the victim of a hate campaign.

He said: “Some of them are in court. They have ‘trolled’ my client over the internet running down everything she does.

“They bombarded Windsor and Maidenhead Council with thousands of complaints.”

The council subsequently withdrew from a deal to help her move to a better site in Bell Lane, Eton Wick.

Mr Weller said Ross had suffered a serious accident four months before the raid when a horse had trampled her, injuring her foot so badly that she needed four operations and had been unable to attend to the sanctuary as she would have liked to.

He said: “She has been devoted to her sanctuary since 2012. She sold her house in 2005 to devote her assets and money to looking after animals. For 38 years she has been involved in sanctuary work.”

Judge Toms said that the problems on the site clearly dated back to before Ross’ accident.

Ross’s co-defendant Hayley Poturici, born July 1992, of Frensham Walk, Farnham Common, who worked at the sanctuary, faced no further action after she accepted an official RSPCA caution.

Sentencing: ordered to do 135 hours of unpaid work and pay £750 costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years (later reduced to 12 months on appeal. Deprivation order issued preventing Ross’s dogs being returned to her.

Local Berkshire
Daily Mail

Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear: Susan and James Ross

#TheList Susan Ross, born 1955, and son James F Ross, born c. 1989, both of Kingsley Avenue, Whitley Bay NE25 8RX – failed to seek medical care for their flea-ridden cat and poorly cockatiel

Animal abusers Susan Ross and son James Ross, both of Whitley Bay, and their neglected pets, cockatiel Eddie and cat Roxy
Susan Ross and son James Ross, both of Whitley Bay, and their neglected pets, cockatiel Eddie and cat Roxy

The RSPCA prosecuted mother and son Susan and James Ross after their cockatiel, Eddie, and tabby cat Roxy were found to be in dire need of vet treatment

Roxy, who was around six years old, was covered in fleas and had developed a skin condition which caused clumps of her fur to fall out.

Eddie was discovered lying at the bottom of his cage covered in his own faeces.

Denise Jackman, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that the cat was found to have an infestation of large adult fleas which had led to an irritating skin disease and fur loss.

James Ross had bought flea spray but neither defendant had taken the tabby to the vet when her condition did not improve.

Grey and yellow cockatiel Eddie had been struggling to perch on the bars of his cage and was left to lie at the bottom.

Unable to reach his food and water, the poorly bird had been struggling to breathe and was losing feathers.

Although the bird’s cage was kept in a reasonably clean condition, his feathers and feet were encrusted with his droppings as he was left stuck on the floor.

Both animals were taken to a vet by the RSPCA and Eddie was put down the same day, as it was considered to be in the bird’s best interests, the court heard.

Roxy was given medication to treat the fleas but struggled to put on weight. She was diagnosed with an unrelated tumour and sadly put to sleep in November 2016.

Despite being entitled to use vet charity PDSA, the court heard unemployed Susan Ross had not taken her pets for treatment because she had been busy helping her daughter with her young child.

She also claimed that the cockatiel had been under the care of her late husband and she was not aware that the bird, whose age was unknown, had been ill.

Mother and son both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary care for the cat and bird and were banned from owning pets for a decade.

Speaking outside the court, RSPCA inspector Helen Bestwick said: “It should have been obvious to the owners to get treatment for their pets and consider costs before they have a pet.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £330 in costs and fines each. Banned from owning animals for 10 years (expires January 2027).

Chronicle Live

Ince, Wigan: Stuart Baker

#TheList Stuart Baker, born c. 1985, of Stopford Street,Ince, Wigan WN2 2AU – kept several dogs and exotic birds in disgusting conditions without food or water

RSPCA inspectors found two adult dogs, nine puppies, a green parrot and a dead cockatiel at Baker's filthy property
RSPCA inspectors found two adult dogs, nine puppies, a green parrot and a dead cockatiel at Stuart Baker’s filthy property in Ince, Wigan

Nightclub bouncer Stuart Baker pleaded guilty jointly with his father, Norman Baker, of causing unnecessary suffering to his pets, which included a litter of nine rottweiler/lab cross puppies, by failing to provide them with a suitable environment to live in.

RSPCA inspectors found two adult dogs, nine puppies, a green parrot and a dead cockatiel at Stuart Baker's filthy property in Ince, Wigan
Stuart Baker described his unforgivable neglect of multiple helpless animals as “unfortunate”

He also admitted failing in a duty of personal responsibility to ensure animal welfare with the constant supply of fresh drinking water.

An arrest warrant was issued for Norman Baker who failed to turn up at court. The outcome of the case against him is unknown.

Tony Stock, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that inspectors had been called to the pair’s home in Warrington Road, Higher Ince, to assist police after reports that two dogs had been found roaming the neighbourhood.

When RSPCA inspector Louise Showering got no answer at the Bakers’ home she looked through the front window and was confronted with an appalling scene of neglect.

The entire living room floor, a dog crate and the sofa and chairs were covered in dog faeces and rubbish, and could be smelt from the outside.

Inspector Showering and colleagues had to wear special protective clothing and face masks to protect their own health when they later legally entered the property. In fact, the acrid smell from dog urine was so strong that they were forced to take it in turns alternately checking the rooms, to avoid being overcome by the fumes.

No food or water was available for the animals, only empty bowls.

All downstairs rooms in the house were in a similar disgraceful state, with one containing a bird cage with a dead cockatiel lying in its own faeces.

The two parent dogs were so aggressive that they had to be sedated before they could be removed by the RSPCA,

RSPCA inspectors found two adult dogs, nine puppies, a green parrot and a dead cockatiel at Stuart Baker's filthy property in Ince, Wigan
Not a care in the world. Animal abuser Stuart Baker works as a nightclub bouncer

The three-month-old puppies were found to be worm-infested and were very frightened of human contact because they hadn’t been socialised.

When offered food and water they ate and drank ravenously and it was a vet’s opinion that they hadn’t eaten or drunk for at least 48 hours.

He also told the court that continuous breathing of the contaminated air would cause harm to the animals’ health.

The vet believed that the cockatiel had died within 24 hours of being found and he believed that “sporadic nutrition” would have been a significant factor.

Baker said problems occurred because he had been forced to work away from home and leave his father to look after their pets.

He said: “The problems have come from a series of unfortunate events.

“I was in a relationship with a violent girl who left me trapped in a spiral of debt.”

Although Baker’s male rottweiler/labrador cross dog had to be put down after attacking officials, the RSPCA successfully re-homed the rottweiler bitch and her nine puppies, plus a green parrot.

Sentencing: three-month suspended prison sentence; £2,140 costs. Banned from keeping any animals for life.

Wigan Today

2019 update: Baker, who in this photo bears a startling resemblance to serial killer Levi Bellfield is working as a bouncer for Steins Party Keller in Wigan.

Convicted animal abuser Stuart Baker is working as a bouncer with Steins Party Keller in Wigan

When we asked Steins if they knew that their employee was a convicted animal abuser, they replied that we should “get over it.” Nice attitude, eh?