Category Archives: Cats

Cruelty to cats

Dereham, Norfolk: April Hawes

#TheList April Hawes, born c. 1983, of Banyard Court, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 1ST – threw a cat nine metres’ distance at her neighbour’s door

Hawes attacked a tom cat named Shadow after becoming annoyed that he was “scenting” her home, disturbing her own cats.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Hawes throwing the cat about nine metres into the front of a neighbour’s property, with the animal hitting a bin.

Prosecuting Ashley Petchey said: “Forty seconds later she is seen throwing it a second time.”

A CCTV camera captured the moment Hawes threw a helpless cat at her neighbour's door
A CCTV camera captured the moment Hawes threw a helpless cat at her neighbour’s door

On the footage, Hawes can be heard screaming that she hoped the complainant could see it on CCTV and asked if she would be cleaning Hawes’ house.

Hawes was arrested and shown the images during interview. She told police she did not realise her own strength and was surprised how far the cat had gone.

Mr Petchey added: “She said [the complainant’s] two cats had been scenting everywhere and disturbing her own cats.”

Hawes claimed there was no intention to cause Shadow harm. However Mr Petchey said: “Clearly, from the footage, it was a deliberate attempt to cause suffering. Shadow is now walking with a limp.”

Hawes admitted causing suffering to a protected animal.

Anne-Marie Sheridan, defending Hawes, said she suffered post traumatic stress disorder.

She said she had been woken by her neighbour’s cats, which had got into her home, gone through her bin and sprayed. She said she had previously asked the council to stop the animals coming into her home but no action had been taken.

Miss Sheridan added Hawes had to leave her window open to allow her own cats to come and go from her property.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 30 days’ rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85. No ban.

Eastern Daily Press

Grosmont, North Yorkshire: Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly

#TheList Mandy Allinson, born c. 1967, and Michael Connolly, born c. 1963, both of Fotherley Farm, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5QJ – kept dogs and cats in “squalid and horrific” conditions

Puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Animals in the care of Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly lived in their own excrement in a filthy barn at their farm near Whitby.

The pair admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.

Police and RSPCA inspectors were alerted to the farm after a number of people bought puppies which fell ill or were found to be riddled with worms or fleas.

And they discovered dozens of animals being kept in appalling conditions at what was found to be an unregistered, unlicensed business.

A dog in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like “a big ball of fur”.

He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.

Dogs in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard that the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and depression.

Speaking after the hearing RSPCA Inspector Claire Little, who led the investigation, said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public who had bought puppies from the premises and, once home, they’d fallen ill or their new families had discovered they were riddled with fleas and worms.

“This couple were running an unregistered, unlicensed business breeding dogs and they were not properly protecting the dogs’ welfare and health.”

When officers raided the property they found 40 dogs and puppies, three cats and a guinea pig at the address. All of the animals were removed.

“The puppies were all being kept inside the house while the adult dogs were kept out in a barn,” Inspector Little added.

“It was cold, dark, dank and filthy in the barn. Some dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages stacked on top of each other, while other dogs were in disgusting kennels covered in dirt and faeces. It absolutely stank inside the barn, it was hell.

“The dogs were yellow with urine stains and covered in fleas. Many were riddled with worms and suffering from nasty diseases like giardia, campylobacter and coccidia.”

French bulldogs, collies, cocker spaniels, poodles and fashionable crossbreeds, such as cockerpoos, were taken into RSPCA care.

“This couple were clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of designer dogs such as cockerpoos but they were failing to meet these dogs’ basic needs and many were seriously poorly,” Inspector Little said.

“It was overcrowded, the disease control was poor and many of the dogs had matted coats and untreated open wounds. The floor was caked in faeces and water bowls were empty and upturned.

“Some had nasty skin infections and had made themselves bleed from constant scratching. One of the dogs had almost 2kg of matted fur removed.”

Grim conditions at the puppy farm run by  Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

A guinea pig was found in a cage in one barn and three cats were found running loose in another barn on the site.

Sentencing: 10-week prison term, suspended for a year. Banned from keeping cats for seven years.

Gazette Live
BBC News

Rochdale, Greater Manchester: Scott Buik

#TheList Scott Andrew Buik, born 30 September 1991, of Mellor Street, Rochdale OL11 – starved two dogs and a cat to death.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Scott Andrew Buik was found guilty of four animal welfare offences.

An RSPCA investigation began after Buik took an emaciated white and brindle Staffordshire bull terrier, known as Buster, to a vet on November 12th, 2018.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Buik told the vet that Buster had become unwell that morning, but on examination it was clear the dog had been starved. He weighed just 11kg, which is around half of what a healthy dog of Buster’s breed should weigh.

The vet examined the dog and saw that he was gravely ill. He was unable to lift his head and was emaciated, with all his bones protruding.

The vet put the stricken dog to sleep to end his suffering.

Concerned that Buster’s condition was caused by neglect, the vet contacted the RSPCA and inspectors Natalie Taylor and Nina Small visited Buik’s house that afternoon.

Buik invited Inspector Taylor inside and showed her a cage where Buster had been kept in the kitchen.

Next to this was another cage covered in a pink blanket and when she touched the blanket it was so full of fleas, it was moving.

When Inspector Taylor removed the blanket she was horrified to discover the emaciated body of a Labrador-cross dog called Scarlett.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death. Photo shows body of crossbreed Scarlett.
Starved crossbreed Scarlett was skin and bone

This dog was severely underweight and her rib cage, spine, shoulders, and hip bones were prominent. It is believed she died the previous day.

Next, Buik led Inspector Taylor to the cellar of his house where she found the body of tortoiseshell female cat named Tilly. She had been dead for some time as mould was growing on her face.

Buik had claimed he had been looking after Scarlet and Tilly for friends, but while in his care the animals were left to starve.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Inspector Nina Small said in her 16-year career with the RSPCA this has been one of the most horrific cases she has come across.

She said, “It was awful to see the condition of these animals they must have suffered a long and lingering death because they were denied food.

“They were clearly kept in atrocious conditions where they were locked away and really just left to rot.

“The post mortem reports revealed pieces of plastic and metal in the dogs’ bodies so they had been so hungry they were trying to eat anything they could.

“Withholding food when it was available and leaving these animals to suffer until they died is the most callous thing imaginable.”

Sentencing: 26 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and 150 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay £1,280 costs and a victim surcharge of £115. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Oldham Chronicle
Manchester Evening News

Dunfermline, Fife: Natalie Page

#TheList Natalie Page, born c. 1973, of Pentland Terrace, Dunfermline KY11 4ES – kept pets in squalid conditions

Convicted animal abuser Natalie Page from Dunfermline in Fife
Natalie Page is banned from keeping animal for 21 months after keeping her pets in deplorable conditions.

Natalie Page admitted failing to ensure the needs of her pet cat were met by exposing the animal to faeces, household debris and unhygienic conditions.

Depute fiscal Alistair McDermid said a SSPCA inspector had gone to Page’s home on June 1, 2018, and warned her about the living conditions for her animals.

The two dogs removed from convicted animal abuser Natalie Page from Dunfermline in Fife
The two dogs removed from Natalie Page’s filthy property in July 2018.

On July 19, there was a return visit and two dogs were removed from the house.

Then, on October 25, two police officers went to the house on an unrelated matter.

They were trying to trace the owner and went inside when they found the front door unlocked.

“There was a thoroughly unpleasant smell and there was rubbish piled high on the floor of every room. The officers believed it was not suitable for habitation by a human and that the conditions posed a health risk,” said the depute.

“An adult cat was in the living room and was eating mouldy food that had been discarded on the floor. The pieces of mouldy food had been there so long they had flies coming out of them.

“There were cat and dog faeces on the floor. The dog faeces appear to have been there for three months.

“Wires were exposed where rubble had come away from crumbling walls.”

The cat was taken away to a local vet where it was found to be in “reasonable health” but required urgent dental work.

When Page was cautioned and charged by police she said: “I’ll get it sorted.”

Defence solicitor Peter Robertson said his client was currently living with her mother while her property was having renovations carried out by the council “to make it habitable”.

Sheriff Charles MacNair told Page: “The photographs taken at the time show the deplorable state of your property. If you want to live like that, I can’t do anything about it but animals can’t speak up for themselves and need protection.”

Sentence: fined £360; 21-month banning order preventing Page from owning, keeping or taking charge of animals.

Dunfermline Press

Whitburn, Tyne and Wear: Ardal Rushton-Hall

#TheList Ardal Padraig Rushton-Hall, born 30/06/1997 of 12 Souter View, Whitburn, Sunderland SR6 7HU – kept 14 cats in squalid conditions. Warrant out for his mother, serial offender Anne Rushton

Sunderland cat abuser: like his mother, serial hoarder Anne Rushton, Ardal Rushton-Hall is now banned from keeping animals
Ardal Rushton-Hall’s helped his cat hoarding mother to breach her 10-year ban on keeping animals imposed in August 2018

Ardal Rushton-Hall was arrested on a warrant after failing to turn up at South Shields Magistrates’ Court for his trial.

A warrant is still outstanding for his mother, 52-year-old Anne Louise Rushton.

Serial cat hoarder Anne Rushton whose last known address is in Stockton Road, Sunderland. A warrant is out for her arrest.
Serial cat hoarder Anne Rushton whose last known address is in Stockton Road, Sunderland. A warrant is out for her arrest.

“The defendant is her son,” said John Elwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA.

“It is a consistent pattern for her to obtain accommodation by rental, and move in with animals in breach of the agreement.

“She then fails to look after the animals, and leaves the property in appalling conditions with the animals suffering.

“This defendant has helped her breach her disqualification, and has kept animals in dreadful conditions such that he failed to protect them from injury and disease.”

Sunderland cat abuser: like his mother, serial hoarder Anne Rushton, Ardal Rushton-Hall is now banned from keeping animals
Rushton-Hall is now banned from keeping animals for five years

The court heard landlord Aiden Dunville let two flats in Stockton Road: one to Rushton, and one to her son and his partner.

“They all said they were homeless and in need of accommodation as soon as possible,” said Mr Elwood.

“Within a day, it was discovered Rushton had moved in cats, and the smell in her flat was over powering.

“The rent went unpaid, and neighbours started to complain about the smell.

“The neighbours were also concerned they had not seen anyone in the flat for some time.

“It was discovered there was 14 cats in one of the flats, and rubbish and faeces all over.

“It appears that half the cats were were owned by Rushton, and half by her son.

“The cats had fur loss on their back ends and fleas,” added Mr Elwood.

“One cat at the property was missed, and only found under floorboards during building work to make the flats habitable again.

“The defendant was aware of his mother’s disqualification from keeping animals.”

Rushton-Hall admitted two charges of animal cruelty and one charge of aiding and abetting a person to commit animal cruelty.

Neil Hodgson, defending, said: “The prime mover behind this offending is not before the court today.

“This went on for six or seven weeks, and there is no doubt the defendant played a lesser role.

“He has had difficulties in his upbringing, having been involved in the care sytem.

“Mr Rushton-Hall doesn’t know where his mother is, and he hopes to bring his itinerant lifestyle to an end.

“He is hopeful of finding stable accommodation in the South Tyneside or Sunderland area.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order of 120 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity days; £335 costs.
Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Sunderland Echo

Oldham, Greater Manchester: Zoe Allen

#TheList Zoe Elizabeth Pearsall Allen, born 23/10/1972, formerly of Hawley Street, Colne, Lancashire and more recently Henshaw Street in Oldham – left dogs, cats and a ferret behind when she moved out of her home

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham
Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

In total, two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at Zoe Allen’s house after she moved out – six of the cats and the ferret were dead.

Allen pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act*.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor said: “We got a call that Allen had abandoned her animals and I attended.

“There were lots of blue bottle flies in the window of the property, which I know from experience isn’t a good sign.

“I knocked, and was relieved when one of the dogs, Cassey, jumped up at the window, but my relief didn’t last long as she didn’t look in good shape.

“I could hear a second dog – Trixy – barking frantically upstairs and I knew there were some cats in there too.

“I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth. Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and a ferret.

A further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following. There were lots of empty food and water bowls. Fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.

The animals were seized by police and placed in RSPCA care on veterinary advice.

On examination, the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated. Cassey – a female Jack Russell type dog – was very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.

Trixy – another female Jack Russell type dog – was even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.

All have recovered in RSPCA care and have now been happily rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Allen had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours. Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham. The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with curfew and 20 rehabilitation requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

ITV News

Chatham, Kent: Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming

#TheList serial animal abuser Keeley M Boswell, born 18/09/1986, and partner Paul M Flemming, born c. 1991, both of Gerald Avenue, Chatham ME4 5TF – banned from keeping animals for 10 years after their dog’s broken leg had to be amputated

Victims of convicted animal abusers Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming of Chatham in Kent
Rottweiler Bella and Chihuahua are victims of serial pet abuser Keeley Boswell, shown here with her latest partner in animal crime, Paul Flemming

Keeley Boswell was already disqualified from keeping animals alongside previous partner James ‘Jimmy’ Moore for the severe neglect of an emaciated and flea-riddled Rottweiler named Bella and a Staffy, Rizla, with the latter having to be put to sleep.

James Moore was convicted of animal cruelty alongside Keeley Boswell in 2015
Keeley Boswell’s previous partner Jimmy Moore was convicted of animal cruelty alongside her in February 2015

In June 2018 RSPCA inspectors visited the home Boswell shares with latest partner Paul Flemming and discovered two flea-infested pets: 10-month-old Chihuahua Sandie and a cat called Princess Sandie also showed signs of a deformed forelimb.

Convicted animal abusers Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming of Chatham in Kent

Both animals were taken to a veterinary surgery, where Sandie was found to have suffered a painful leg fracture, which would have occurred at least three weeks earlier and been caused by “great force”.

Victims of convicted animal abusers Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming of Chatham in Kent
Princess was covered in fleas

The couple’s solicitor told the court that Boswell was aware she had been banned from keeping animals but she wasn’t sure if the ban was still in force.

Keeley Boswell is a serial animal abuser
Keeley Boswell is a serial animal abuser

She also admitted when asked by inspectors that Sandie’s leg did not look straight.

Flemming said he hadn’t noticed any issue with the dog’s leg but admitted that he ought to have taken her to the vets.

Convicted animal abusers Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming of Chatham in Kent

Their solicitor asked magistrates to give the couple community orders rather than a custodial sentence, as they had multiple children in their care and Flemming was named as the household’s only breadwinner.

In addition to the animal cruelty charges, Boswell was convicted of breaching a disqualification order, whilst Flemming was convicted of aiding and abetting this.

Sentencing: 18-week suspended sentence; ordered to take part in a total of 400 hours of unpaid work and supplementary rehabilitation sessions; £450 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Kent Online

Great Horton, Bradford: Raja Zulqarnain

#TheList Raja Q Zulqarnain, born c. 1982, of Southmere Oval, Great Horton, Bradford BD7 – left his pet kitten’s horrendous eye infection untreated – causing the eyeball to rupture and burst.

Kitten neglected by Raja Zulqarnain of Great Horton, Bradford, who has now been sent to jail for 4 months.
Vile kitten abuser Raja Zulqarnain of Great Horton, Bradford, hadn’t even given his abandoned pet a name

Zulqarnain pleaded guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to his kitten, who was aged just eight weeks old at the time.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday how the RSPCA was called to reports of a suffering kitten at the address after a resident saw the poorly pet’s eye on August 22, 2017.

Inspector Emma Dingley was sent to investigate and found the suffering kitten cowering in a nearby garage and was shocked by the severity of his eye infection.

She said: “The resident told me the kitten was in the garage as she had been trying to feed it.

“It was 10pm and pitch black when I went inside to try find the kitten and although I couldn’t see him I could smell the infection it was so bad.

“Then when I brought him out and held my torch up to him I could see the severity of the infection, which had caused his eyeball to rupture and burst.

“The kitten, who had sadly not even been given a name, was also severely underweight.

“I rushed him to a nearby vets who also found the kitten was infested with fleas causing flea anemia – which is when the fleas drain so much blood it causes the body to shut down.

“The vet said if the kitten had been healthy he could have had the eye removed but because of his medical problems he wouldn’t survive the anaesthetic and the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep to end his suffering.”

Inspector Dingley later interviewed Zulqarnain and he admitted the kitten was his but said he had no money to seek veterinary treatment for him.

She added: “He said didn’t know the kitten was living in the cold garage and also said he had no name for the cat.

“The magistrate was disgusted by the photographs of the eye injury which were shown in court – and said he couldn’t bring himself to look at them.

“It is so sad that the kitten was only a few weeks old and during that time suffered terribly. It is such a shame because he was such a friendly little guy and when I picked him up that night he was enjoying cuddles and attention. It was an extremely upsetting case.”

Sentencing: jailed for four months. No indication of a ban.

Telegraph and Argus

Aberford, Leeds: Andrew David Hinde

#TheList horse trader and kitten breeder Andrew David Colbert Hinde, born 07/01/1965, of Becca Farm, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3AH – flouted a ban and continued to abuse animals in his care

Former international horse show judge Hinde, who bred Dartmoor ponies at Pumphill Stud, immediately ignored a 12-year ban on keeping animals imposed in March 2015 and went on to neglect 50 horses and two foals.

The 2015 conviction related to cruelty to horses and also cats after dozens of pedigree British short-haired cats being bred for sale were found at the property Hinde shared with parents Raymond and Cynthia. They were also convicted of animal cruelty at that time.

Hinde was first convicted of horse cruelty in 2011 when he was banned from keeping horses for three years.

Now the serial animal abuser has finally been sent to jail and banned from keeping animals indefinitely with the crown court recorder Gavin Doig telling him it was “time to pay the price for your behaviour”.

The court heard heard Hinde kept 20 horses at his own farm with more than 50 other ponies kept in fields he rented at Westfield Farm at Kirk Smeaton near Pontefract.

The court heard in February 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Westfield Farm and found some of the ponies were in poor condition with their her ribs, hips and spines. showing.

One of the ponies was emaciated and was suffering from hunger, was infected with lice and had overgrown feet.

Another pony, which was exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, was put to sleep.

The court heard that the pony was infested with worms and was infected with salmonella.

In July 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Becca Farm at Aberford and seized 20 horses after finding that some were being kept in conditions that didn’t meet their needs.

Many of the animals had been left to fend for themselves with one suffering hypothermia

The horses and ponies were left without adequate food or shelter and were “skin and bone” with one so badly emaciated and infected with disease he had to be put down.

The judge told Hinde he had a “cavalier attitude towards the animals, a cavalier attitude to orders of the court; you showed complete disrespect”.

“Now you must face those consequences,” he added.

Shila Whitehead, defending, said Hinde had “issues on wanting to have animals”.

Sentencing: jailed for 11 months and banned from keeping animals indefinitely.

BBC News
Yorkshire Evening Post

Hinstock/Newport, Shropshire: Ashley Longhurst and Jessica Smith

#TheList Ashley Longhurst born c. 1995, of Roman Way, Hinstock, near Market Drayton TF9 2SL and Jessica Smith, born c. 1995, of Greenacres Way, Newport TF10 – banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered unexplained injuries on three occasions and was eventually put to sleep.

Convicted animal abusers Jessica Smith and Ashley Longhurst are banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered a series of unexplained injuries
Convicted animal abusers Jessica Smith and Ashley Longhurst are banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered a series of unexplained injuries

Ashley Longhurst and Jessica Smith both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to one-year-old cat Belle (pictured).

Belle suffered unexplained injuries on three occasions in under a year and the pair were told by magistrates that they could have faced jail.

However, the court heard that there was not enough evidence to say that the injuries were “non-accidental” after experts were unable to agree on the possible causes

At her last trip to Tern Vets in Newport on September 4, ,2018, Belle had large swelling on the back of her head, two bruise-like marks on her ear and a swollen nose. Metalwork installed to treat a previous leg injury had also been displaced.

She was taken into RSPCA care and initially improved, but her health deteriorated and she was euthanised in October 2018.

Smith had previously taken Belle to the vet with a fractured hip in April 2018, and again that July with a broken leg. The couple blamed Belle’s hip injury after she fell off a lizard tank, and her head injuries on getting caught in a cage.

However, for the broken leg they had no explanation. After the third trip in September, police opened an investigation.

Judge Kevin Grego said: “Between April and September last year this cat suffered, at separate times, three serious injuries. It does look suspiciously like these were non-accidental injuries but we haven’t heard evidence of that and that is not what they are in court for.”

He said that if prosecutors had been able to prove either or both of the pair were responsible for the “more serious matters” of deliberately causing the cat’s injuries, they would have faced prison.

Representing Longhurst, Jemma Gordon said that he had been unemployed for more than a year in part due to depression and anxiety, and that he “essentially lives off his mother”.

For Smith, Alex Barber said his client had been “traumatised” by her experience with Belle and did not want to keep animals again.

Longhurst – 150 hours of unpaid work; £900 towards the RSPCA’s costs. Banned from owning or looking after animals for 10 years
Smith – £300 in costs. Five-year ban on owning or looking after animals.

Shropshire Star