Category Archives: parrots

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

Liskeard, Cornwall: Briony Coster

#TheList Briony Coster, born c. 1976, of no fixed above but with links to Liskeard, Cornwall, and Paignton in Devon – abandoned her pet parrots in an empty property

Briony Coster was banned from keeping birds after abandoning parrots
Briony Coster was banned from keeping birds after abandoning parrots

Coster admitted leaving an African grey parrot, who was found in a dirty cage with stale water, and a blue and gold macaw, who was discovered in a cluttered room on a stand with some food and stale water, alone in a property in Liskeard for six days in July 2018.

Both birds – which were underweight when they were rescued – were removed with the authority of the landlord, who had repossessed the property, and taken to a vets for examination.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Suzy Hannaby, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “There is never an excuse for simply walking away and leaving an animal to potentially face a long slow death from starvation.

“There is help available for those who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to provide for their animals and we encourage people to seek out this help, rather than abandoning an animal.”

The two birds, which have since recovered in foster care, will be found new homes.

Sentencing:
12-month conditional discharge. Fines and charges of £470. Banned from keeping all avian species for two years.

CornwallLive

 

Meir, Stoke-on-Trent: Natalie Keenan and David Knight

#TheList Natalie Keenan, born c. 1989, and David Knight, born c. 1977, both of Sandon Old Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 – kept 23 pets – including a barn owl, a fox and a raccoon dog – inside a smelly and flea-ridden house of horrors

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

David Knight pleaded guilty to five charges related to animal cruelty, while Natalie Keenan admitted four offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The pair’s mini-zoo was discovered by chance when a utility company official went round to the Meir home to execute a warrant as they hadn’t paid their gas bill.

He alerted the RSPCA, who were confronted by the stench of neglect, with piles of dog poo in the kitchen, rotting chickens in a snake tank and animals covered in fleas.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

Other creatures – from pets to exotics to wild animals – were being kept in tiny filthy cages, with barely enough room to move and without ready access to water.

A raccoon dog kept in a foul cage by Natalie Keenan and David Knight from Meir, Stoke

One terrier-type dog, called Lexi, was in such a poor condition that she had to be put to sleep.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Lexi was experiencing ‘significant suffering’. She was virtually blind, emaciated with protruding bones, had little fur and an infected tumour that was hidden underneath a ‘foul-smelling mess’.

The dog was found curled up on a pile of dirty nappies and had to be carried out of the house as she couldn’t walk.

The couple also had:

  • another dog, Mocha the French bulldog
  • a cat called Gizzy, who both had skin and flea problems;
  • a barn owl caged up in a bedroom
  • a fox living in a cage in another room;
  • a racoon dog
  • a rat
  • a bearded dragon
  • five snakes
  • eight degus;
  • and an African grey parrot called Charlie.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors
Lexi was in such poor condition she had to be put to sleep

RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “When I arrived at the property the couple wouldn’t let me inside so I waited outside for over two hours until police arrived.

“During that time the family carried bin bag after bin bag of rubbish out of the house.

“When I finally went inside it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Even though they’d been clearing out for two hours it was still absolutely filthy and the animals were being kept in horrifying conditions.

“There was cage after cage and animal after animal. The rooms were strewn with rubbish, all of the animals’ accommodation was filthy and their welfare needs were clearly not being met.

“It was disgusting and it was mass-scale neglect.”

The other animals remain in RSPCA care and can now be rehomed or moved to suitable keepers.

“Many of these animals simply shouldn’t be kept as pets let alone kept like this,” Inspector Melvin added.

“To see these poor animals living in such squalor was heartbreaking. I’m just glad they can all now have a second chance at find loving new homes where their needs will be properly catered to.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order including a 30-hour rehabilitation requirement. Total of £235 each in costs and charges.  Both were disqualified from keeping animals for three years.

Stoke Sentinel
Signal1

Sutton-In-Ashfield: Margaret Greaves

#TheList Margaret Greaves, born 02/09/1952, of Newbound Farm, Newbound Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield NG17 3JQ – kept 40 animals in horrific conditions at her home

Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, kept dogs 'in cells'
Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, kept dogs ‘in cells’

Margaret Greaves, a flyball trainer who competed internationally, pleaded guilty to a number of animal welfare offences.

Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, kept dogs 'in cells'

The RSPCA visited Greaves’s house after concerns were raised about the welfare of dogs at the property.

Inspectors found 30 dogs living in crates stacked on top of each other with no food, water, blankets or toys.

Six puppies, two cats and two parrots were also found.

RSPCA inspector Laura Kirkham said: “They were living in their own little prison cells – it was absolutely horrific and not something you expect to see in this day and age.”

“There was faeces and urine in the crates and, in some, there were two dogs in each. The smell was disgusting – it was so overpowering that it was burning my throat.”

Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, kept dogs 'in cells'

The dogs were spread across the property inside the house, an outhouse and in a transit van and a run outside.

“There were seven dogs living in this van, all in crates – six in the back and one in the front,” said Inspector Kirkham.

Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, kept dogs 'in cells'

Five of the dogs were put to sleep on veterinary advice due to health issues and a young puppy died from natural causes.

Sentencing: 12-week suspended prison sentence; ordered to pay over £600. A three-year ban on keeping all animals (expires June 2020) but banned from keeping dogs for life.

ITV News
BBC News

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?