Category Archives: Cats

Cruelty to cats

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

Ferryhill, County Durham: Matthew Dennis Parker

#TheList Matthew Dennis Parker, born c. 1993, of Newton Street, Ferryhill, Co Durham DL17 8PW – abandoned three kittens in an empty property. One kitten found dead, the others were skin and bone.

Officers were called to Parker’s home after the RSPCA had established that he had not been back to his house to attend to the kittens for at least three days.

RSPCA inspector Clare Wilson said: “We had seen two kittens – Thor and Belle – on the windowsill of what we assumed was a bedroom upstairs, and they didn’t seem to have access to the rest of the house.

“When officers went in they found the kittens shut in.

“Tragically, a third kitten, Tigger, was found dead on the bed.

“All three of them were literally skin and bones but fortunately, with a lot of TLC, Thor and Belle have gone on to make a full recovery and have been rehomed.”

In mitigation the court heard that Parker was working a lot of hours at the time and thought he had left enough food for the kittens. They were told the last thing he wanted was to cause them suffering and regretted what had happened.

Inspector Wilson said: “We are seeing more and more people leaving their pets unattended for long periods. Not only is this unacceptable, it is against the law. If you must leave your pet unattended for more than 24 hours you must make arrangements for a responsible person to care for them in your absence.

“As this very sad case demonstrates, the consequences can be heartbreaking.”

Sentencing: 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 200 hours of unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation days; total of £415 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for 20 years.

Northern Echo

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham: Thomas John Black

#TheList Thomas John Black, born 13/01/1995, of Laurel Road, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees TS16 0BD – moved out of his house, leaving his pet cat behind

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.

Black pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Face only a mother could love: convicted animal abuser Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees.

RSPCA inspector Clare Wilson said: “The house was filthy, with faeces and urine everywhere and rubbish strewn across every room.

“Cass had no access to food or water and, on top of both of these things, Cass had serious veterinary needs.

“Cass had previously suffered with seizures, which Black was aware of and was told needed treatment, but he moved out and left him behind in the property.”

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Thomas John Black abandoned Cass in an empty property, leaving her to starve to death.

In mitigation the court heard Black had been going through a difficult time and had moved back in with family.

Cass has now been signed over to the RSPCA and hopefully will now be able to be rehomed.

Inspector Wilson said: “I’m dealing with more and more abandonment cases like this one.

“Abandoning an animal in this way is completely unacceptable.

“If you cannot attend to your pet for whatever reason, you must make arrangements for a responsible person to care for them in your absence.”

Sentencing:
12-month community order, 25 rehabilitation days, ordered to pay £300 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for ten years.

Northern Echo

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

Birkenhead, Merseyside: Kyle Evans and Abigail Hanrahan

#TheList Kyle Evans, born c. 1989, and partner Abigail Hanrahan, born c. 1988, both of Conway Street, Birkenhead CH41 – failed to seek treatment for their kitten’s horrific injuries likely caused by a physical attack

Cat abusers Kyle Evans and Abigail Hanrahan of Birkenhead

Wirral Magistrates Court heard that eight-month-old Felix was left with his jaw detached from his chin for SIX weeks until a concerned member of the public alerted the RSPCA.

The kitten was blind and unable to walk properly when eventually seen by a vet – and suffered a brain injury which means he now wobbles when he walks.

Cat abuser Abigail Hanrahan with Felix

Owners Kyle Evans and his partner Abigail Hanrahan claimed the injury was caused by the kitten running into a litter tray.

But the court heard from an expert veterinary witness who suggested the injury was more likely due to a physical attack.

Cat abuser Kyle Evans outside Wirral Magistrates court

The couple pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat by failing to provide prompt and appropriate veterinary attention and magistrates banned them from keeping animals for ten years.

RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes, who investigated the case, said: “He really was in state and obviously the injury to his jaw – which had been left untreated – was causing a lot of suffering.

“The vet also found a swelling to his head which caused blindness but with treatment his sight has been restored.

“It seems he has a brain injury which means he can be wobbly when he walks but he is doing so well considering and is such a lovely cat.

“He was so timid at first but now he has been in the care of the RSPCA he likes nothing more than to be stroked.

“He has come on leaps and bounds.

“There is never any excuse not to seek veterinary treatment if a pet is in need and Felix must have suffered terribly over this long period.”

The court heard Felix was injured on or around June 1 2018 but he was left without treatment until the RSPCA was called in on July 16.

He was taken to an animal hospital where he was treated for three weeks for a swelling on his head, enabling him to regain his sight.

The animal charity says he has made a remarkable recovery and hopes he will be re-homed soon.

Sentencing:
Kyle Evans – 12-month Community Order including 140 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £240 costs with an £84 victim surcharge.

Abigail Hanrahan – £100 fine, £100 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

Both were banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Liverpool Echo

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.

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

Basildon, Essex: Arnold Dawson and Kerry Lee Dowson

#TheList Arnold Dawson, born c. 1989, and Kerry Lee Dowson, born c. 1984, both of 36 Armada Close, Basildon SS15 5GP – for cruelty towards a kitten who was injured six times in eight weeks

Convicted pet abusers Arnold Dawson and Kerry Dowson were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Convicted pet abusers Arnold Dawson and Kerry Dowson were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Dawson and Dowson admitted failing to meet the welfare needs of a black male kitten called Binx by not protecting him from recurrent injury.

The court heard Binx had been taken to the vet six times in eight weeks with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma particularly to the head.

An expert witness report found that Binx had a number of injuries and some were very severe causing large swellings to the head, fracture of the skull, a rib fracture and internal bleeding within the eyes.

The injuries to the kitten’s eyes resulted in eventual blindness.

Photo of convicted pet abuser Arnold Dawson.
A dog in the care of Arnold Dawson and Kerry Dawson had also sustained serious unexplained injuries, resulting in her being put to sleep.
Kerry Dowson
Vision of loveliness: animal abuser Kerry Dowson

The explanations given by Dawson and Dowson for the possible cause of injuries suffered by Binx were not consistent with their severity and the expert concluded that Binx had been subject to repeated incidents of intentional injury.

The court was also told the couple’s previous pet, a dog called Honey, had a similar pattern of unexplained injuries in her medical history which sadly resulted in Honey being put down.

Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “Binx was taken to a vet by the owner on six occasions over an eight week period, with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma.

“A deprivation order was made and Binx has now been signed over into the care of the RSPCA. We will now look to find him a new home.

“He really is the sweetest boy, despite the injuries he has suffered. He is now blind as a result of the cataracts, but this doesn’t seem to restrict him and he is still just the loveliest cat you could meet. I am certain he will make someone a wonderful addition to their family.”

Despite initially denying the charge, both Dawson and Dowson admitted one count each of failing to protect Binx from recurrent injury.

Sentencing:
Dawson – 12-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work, a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to take part in a thinking skills programme.

Dowson – 12-month community order, a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

Both were disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years and each ordered to pay £600 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Southend Standard

Kirkmuirhill, South Lanarkshire: Stefan Zelan

#TheList Stefan Zelan, born c. 1983, of Hope Road, Kirkmuirhill, South Lanarkshire ML11 – failed to seek veterinary treatment for his cat’s broken leg

Mistreated cat Bonnie had to have her leg amputated

Zelan pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for his cat’s broken leg under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, Section 19(2)(a)(b).

Commenting on the investigation and court case, inspector Emma Sergeant said, “The charge was dealt as Zelan failed to provide veterinary treatment to his cat, Bonnie.

“Bonnie, a black and white domestic long haired type cat, was found to be suffering from a broken leg that had been left untreated by her owner.

“Upon veterinary examination, x-rays showed that the fracture had started to heal and was unfortunately not able to be fixed. The decision was taken for her leg to be amputated.

“Thankfully, she made a full recovery, is pain free and is coping well on three legs.

“She will be transferred to one of our rescue centres where she will stay until she finds her new, loving forever home.

“I am happy that the courts have dealt with this case and the sentence passed down. Bans send an important message that owning an animal is a privilege rather than a right.”

Sentencing: 18-month community payback order. Three-year ban from owning or keeping animals.

Scottish SPCA News

Skelmersdale, Lancashire: Gary Chadwick

#TheList Gary Sean Chadwick, born 15/01/1999, of Firbeck, Skelmersdale WN8 6PN – battered a 20-week-old kitten and left her to suffer an agonising death

Kitten killer Gary Chadwick outside court.

Gary Chadwick pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

He killed the grey and white kitten, named Smokey, after he hit her so hard that he caused multiple fractures, kidney damage and significant bruising.

The kitten likely suffered for “many hours” according to the vet who carried out the post-mortem.

A carer for Chadwick, who has autism and had also previously been on medication for schizophrenia , discovered the kitten after she saw her struggling to use her front legs and heard her wailing in pain before she died.

She said Chadwick was acting “shifty”, claiming the cat always made those noises when it used the litter tray.

The carer left the house and called the RSPCA to report Chadwick for animal cruelty.

When interviewed, Chadwick claimed he had only ever slapped Smokey once during her short life but said he never threw or kicked her.

David Lloyd, defending, told Liverpool Magistrates’ Court: “I don’t think he intended to deliberately hurt the kitten.”

Adding: “He has asked me to inform the court, to say he was fond of the kitten.”

Inspector Joanne McDonald said: “We will never know the exact details of how the kitten came to have these injuries but from what the expert witnesses told the court it must have been terrible.

“Smokey was only 20 weeks old and the suffering she must have endured after the attack must have been terrible.”

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Liverpool Echo

Lancaster, Lancashire: Andrew John Rooney

#TheList Andrew John Rooney, born c. 1973, of 26 Mayfield Avenue, Lancaster LA1 2NY – found with two dogs, a cat, a budgie, a hamster and a guinea pig in breach of a 1997 ban on keeping animals.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.
Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney admitted breaching the lifelong disqualification between January 17, 2016, and July 17, 2018, by keeping two dogs, known as Shadow and Max, a cat known as Magic, alongside a bird, hamster and guinea pig.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.

Rooney pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to one of the dogs, a Labrador, by failing to seek adequate veterinary treatment for her skin condition between February and April 27, 2018.

Sentencing:
14 -week jail term, suspended for two years; rehabilitation activity requirement; 150 hours of unpaid work. Total of £615 costs and charges.

Lancashire Post