Category Archives: Cats

Cruelty to cats

Rhyl/Prestatyn, North Wales: Lewis David Brereton and Joshua Harvey Weir

#TheList Lewis David Brereton, 26, of 7 Bryntirion Avenue, Rhyl LL18 3NP and Joshua Harvey Weir, also age 26, of 4 Linden Drive, Prestatyn LL19 9EH – laughed hysterically as they filmed themselves throwing a cat high in the air “like a rugby ball”

A drunken Joshua Weir launched this defenceless cat high into the air like a rugby ball
A drunken Joshua Weir launched this defenceless cat high into the air like a rugby ball while his pal Lewis Brereton laughed and cracked jokes

Appalling video footage shows Joshua Weir (pictured) throwing a helpless cat into the air and across a road while his accomplice Lewis Brereton films it. The pair laugh hysterically and crack jokes throughout the cat’s ordeal.

The men can be heard saying in the clip “Hope you have nine lives” and “You have strong limbs”.

The cat lands on her feet in a state of disorientation and runs off in terror.

The pair pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty by throwing the cat.

Tudur Owen, prosecuting for the RSPCA , said: “One of the men [Weir] held [the cat# in both hands and swung his arms before launching it in the air at 45 degrees. It reached a considerable height, twisting in the air.”

Court chairman Darren Campbell told Weir his decision to pick up a defenceless animal and throw it in the air “for your own enjoyment, is incredulous to us.”

He said animals felt pain and fear and magistrates had watched the video of “appalling behaviour” being filmed and posted on social media.

Solicitors for both men said they had been drinking and were remorseful.

Brereton’s lawyer said the pair were “very drunk” but had owned up at once adding that Brereton found it ”excruciating” to now view the video.

Weir’s lawyer told the court her client had lost his job looking after people with autism. He was now to take a training course in London for close protection work. She said that what had happened was completely out of character.

Cat abuser Joshua Weir outside court
Joshua Weir outside court

A probation officer said Brereton stated he’d been drinking to block out his feelings because he was “in turmoil” about his sick mother and that what happened had affected Weir’s mental state.

The court chairman said: “You are not going to prison because of your previous good character.”

Speaking after the case, RSPCA deputy chief inspector Phil Lewis said: “This is a very shocking and distressing incident where a ginger and white cat was filmed being thrown high up in the air in Rhyl.

“It is just appalling how someone would deliberately inflict pain on this poor defenceless cat for their entertainment. The cat ran off after the incident.”

Weir and Brereton were given eight-week prison sentences, suspended for six months, plus £490 costs. They were both banned from keeping animals for three years (expires October 2021)

Daily Post
The Sun

Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales: Josh Sullivan and Levi Williams

#TheList Josh Sullivan, aged 17, and 15-year-old Levi Williams, both of the notorious Gurnos Estate, Merthyr Tydfil –  coaxed an elderly family cat named Sully out from under a car and watched as their dog mauled him to death

Cat killers: Levi Williams and Josh Sullivan of Merthyr Tydfil
Vile cat killers: Levi Williams and Josh Sullivan of Merthyr Tydfil

The disturbing attack, which shows Sullivan and Williams parading Sully’s dead body around afterwards, was caught on CCTV on 9 May 2018.

The sick pair were sentenced after admitting to causing unnecessary suffering to the 13-year-old cat.

The dog involved in the case has also been subjected to a deprivation order and will be taken into RSPCA care until he’s ready for rehoming.

Josh Sullivan's dog is believed to be the one he and his cruel sidekick, Levi Williams, set on a helpless elderly cat
Josh Sullivan’s dog is believed to be the one he and his cruel sidekick, Levi Williams, set on a helpless elderly cat

Sully’s owners became concerned after their pet had been missing from their home for a number of days.

They checked their CCTV camera for clues about Sully’s whereabouts and were shocked to witness his shocking ordeal at the hands of cruel teenagers Williams and Sullivan and the dog they had evidently trained to kill other animals.

In the footage Williams is seen hitting Sully with a stick to coax him out from underneath a car. As Sully runs out, Sullivan releases the dog he had been holding by the collar. The dog chases Sully, quickly catches him and mauls him to death.

Cat killer Josh Sullivan, who like his accomplice Levi Williams lives on the notorious Gurnos Estate
Cat killer Josh Sullivan, who like his accomplice Levi Williams lives on the notorious Gurnos Estate

Sullivan picks up Sully’s limp body and parades it as he walks along the street. Finally he callously tosses the mutilated cat into the bushes.

Cat killers Levi Williams and Josh Sullivan from Merthyr Tydfil

RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper said: “The shock and horror I felt when I first witnessed this CCTV footage has remained with me.

“This was a disturbing, harrowing and deeply sinister attack which would have caused immense suffering to poor Sully.

“It is frightening to think two children would set out to do something so deliberately cruel. It appears the dog had been trained to kill like this.

“We know most people across Merthyr and beyond will be disgusted by the treatment of an innocent, defenceless cat in this way.

“This was a premeditated attack, seemingly done for the boys’ fun and pleasure, for which the RSPCA had to seek justice.

“The actions of these individuals has left a family broken and without their beloved pet cat and family member of 13 years.”

Sully’s owner – who wishes to remain anonymous – added: ‘We are absolutely heartbroken.

“Sully was so happy, and was a member of our family. His killing by these cruel people brings shame to Merthyr Tydfil. This was a heinous act.

“He was well-known and popular in the local area – always sitting on the path he’d get petted and fussed by people walking along the lane and regular dog walkers all knew him.

“He’d regularly sneak into a neighboring dental practice, and make friends with patients in the waiting room. Sully was a real character and was loved by all who met him. He was harmless and had never hurt anyone.

“We all miss him so, so much. It was so strange for Sully to be missing. He’d gone to follow family members to the local park and was out and about as usual – but didn’t come home that day.

“We started to get worried, so I checked our CCTV cameras – and saw these boys walking with a dog and that’s when it all happened.

“It was horrifying to watch. I was screaming at the screen for Sully to run for his life but the dog was just too fast for him.

“What I witnessed that day will never leave me – it was like watching one of my children being attacked.

“Sully was 13 years old and was one of our family members who spent every night curled up on our children’s beds and his senseless killing has affected them deeply.

“Telling my wife and children he was dead was so, so hard. I will never forget watching the offenders revel in what they did, and will never forgive them for what they have done to us.

“They threw poor Sully’s body into the bushes like a piece of junk; and I had to go and get the body, and get him cremated, to get some dignity for him.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

12-month referral order to the youth offending team, £300 costs. Disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years (expires September 2028).

Daily Mail

Hull: Craig Paul Precious

#TheList Craig Paul Precious, of 31 Ellerby Grove, Hull HU9 3PR – allowed his lurcher dog to kill a cat

Lamping fan Craig Paul Precious from Hull let his lurcher dog kill this cat
Lamping fan Craig Paul Precious from Hull let his lurcher dog attack and kill this cat

Precious, who apparently enjoys persecuting nocturnal animals (also known as lamping) in his spare time, failed to control the grey lurcher who attacked two cats who were sitting in a garden in a residential street.

One managed to get away but a black and white cat died as a result of the injuries inflicted upon her.

The dog was not on a lead at the time and CCTV subsequently showed Precious decided against putting the animal on a lead, even after he had seen what had happened to the cat.

Precious admitted failing to control the animal in the attack.

Irresponsible dog owner Craig Paul Precious from Hull
Irresponsible dog owner Craig Paul Precious

Reviewing the CCTV footage, RSPCA inspector Laura Barber said: “Two cats can be seen in the CCTV footage sitting in a garden. A grey lurcher runs into view from the street and into the garden and attacks one of the cats.

“Fortunately the other one gets away.

“Precious comes into view with another lurcher on a lead and he goes into the garden to take a look at what’s happened.

“After a few moments he leaves the garden and walks away. Even after the incident the grey lurcher isn’t put on a lead and continues to run in and out of people’s gardens.”

The court heard a similar incident had happened before, but in mitigation Precious denied it and said the incident had been an accident and he wanted to apologise.

Sentencing: 12-month community order including 100 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.  

Hull Daily Mail

Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Julie Lorraine Mellard

#TheList Julie Lorraine Mellard, aged 62, of 3 Crescent End, Rotherham S66 9LS – neglected nine pet cats

Animal abuser Julie Mellard from Rotherham
Animal abuser Julie Mellard from Rotherham

Hobby dog and cat trader/backyard breeder Julie Lorraine Mellard pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, by failing to clip the nails of two cats between March and June 2018, allowing them to ingrow.

Mellard also admitted one count failing to ensure the needs of an animal, in that she failed to provide nine cats with a suitable living environment.

40 hours of unpaid work; £300 costs. Five-year ban on keeping cats.

Rotherham Advertiser


Ashton, Bristol: Paula Davidson

#TheList Paula Davidson, aged 39, most recently of Ashton Drive, Bristol BS3 – left two husky-type dogs and eight cats to starve in an abandoned property

Convicted pet abuser Paula Davidson from Bristol and the house of horrors in which she kept her cats and dogs.
Paula Davidson left her pets to suffer in nightmarish conditions Police footage shows animal faeces and corpses littering the floor.

Davidson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to eight cats and two dogs by failing to provide adequate food and supervision. Five cats had died while others had survived by resorting to eating their remains. The dogs had been locked in separate rooms and were forced to sleep in their own excrement.

Magistrates viewed footage filmed by Avon and Somerset police officers after they had forced entry to the property.

During the video the officers can be heard gagging and retching as they move around the rooms. One of them says, “I can’t breathe. My eyes are hurting the smell is so bad.”

An RSPCA inspector was called to the scene and identified the carcasses of five young cats which had been eaten away by other starving cats, leaving the floor littered with fur, legs, tails and skulls attached to spinal cords.

The two huskies had been locked in a small kitchen and bathroom, both of which were inches deep in dog mess.

Kate Burnham-Davies, prosecuting, said the case showed “sustained negligence and cruelty”.

Ms Burnham-Davies described “entrails and clumps of fur strewn across the floor” with “officers unable to walk across the floor without stepping on excrement and carcasses”.

The court heard how police and the RSPCA had spoken to Davidson several times before the forced entry. Police told Davidson she could sign the animals over to the care of the RSPCA, but she did not accept the offer.

Davidson told officers she was living with a friend but returning to the house twice a day to care for the animals. However Ms Burnham-Davies said police heard from neighbours that the house had been deserted for days or even weeks.

Davidson’s solicitor said that his client’s mental health was a key factor in the case.  He said that she had been sectioned after the death of her grandmother who had lived with Davidson at the property. He said she was suffering  severe depression, a personality disorder and transient psychotic disorder and was  receiving treatment at a psychiatric unit.

Ms Burnham-Davies said that despite Davidson’s mental health issues, the prolonged nature of the abuse meant she was fully culpable for the animal’s suffering.

In passing sentence presiding magistrate noted that Davidson had refused help with the animals when offered, saying: “You caused unnecessary and prolonged cruelty to cats and dogs in your care.”

Sentencing: 12-week suspended sentence with a 25-day rehabilitation requirement. £250 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for an indefinite period of time. 


Chard, Somerset: Troy Draycott and Michael Stephens

#TheList Troy Draycott, aged 31, of XX Holyrood Street, Chard TA20 2DN and Michael William Stephens, aged 28, of Old Town Flats, Chard – kept two poorly cats in foul conditions.

Chard men Troy Draycott (left) and Michael Stephens left cats Lexi and Blade to suffer in foul conditions
Chard men Troy Draycott (left) and Michael Stephens left cats Lexi and Blade to suffer in foul conditions and failed to have their ailments treated.

When an RSPCA inspector called at the address of one of the men she was greeted with an overwhelming stench of cat urine and faeces.

When she entered the bathroom where the cats – named Lexi and Blade – were being kept she found them in a state of distress and neglect and lying on a urine-soaked cushion and blanket.

The room was covered in dirt and walked-in faeces, including pools of diarrhoea, and the two cats were very subdued, sat in a hunched position and were heavily soiled.

Lexi was in a very poor condition and appeared emaciated with her spine, ribs and pelvis easily felt. She also had minimal muscle tone and was described as being in a “life-threatening condition”.

Lexi and Blade had dirty ears and flea dirt throughout their coats which were wet with urine and “smelt appalling”. There was some food and milk in a bowl, but no water was available.

They were assessed by a veterinary surgeon who said they had high levels of flea dirt and were soaked in urine. They also had mites and ear infections and Blade had a urine-soaked underside, skin lesions and stunk of ammonia.

Lexi’s body condition was anaemic, her temperature was very low and she was in a life-threatening condition.

Draycott and Stephens both pleaded guilty to causing animal suffering.

Chard cat abusers Stephens and Draycott outside court
Chard cat abusers Stephens and Draycott outside court

The court heard that both cats had since responded to treatment, were in full good health and would not be returned to the defendants.

Defending solicitor Ray Peters said that Stephens and Draycott were joint owners of the cats and had both been diagnosed with learning difficulties and other mental health conditions.

“They discussed the possibility of owning an animal of some sort but were of the opinion that the accommodation they had was not suitable,” he said.

“However they noticed an advert on Facebook for two kittens being sold by a friend and, perhaps somewhat foolishly, they went and had a look and immediately fell in love with them and had them.

“Initially they were at Draycott’s home but the housing association was not prepared for him to have pets so they moved them to Stephens’ flat where they were rescued from.

“When the inspector attended they both immediately agreed and were delighted to be able to sign the animals over because they realised they were not able to look after them as they should have.”

He said the regret was that they did not do anything earlier but added that they now didn’t have any animals and did not wish to have any.

£150 each towards court costs. Banned from keeping animals for just five years (expires September 2023).



Seaham, County Durham: Brenda Cooper

#TheList Brenda Cooper, aged 58, of XX Stanley Street, Seaham SR7 0AH – failed to take cancer-stricken pet cat Ava to vet

Pets abused by Brenda Cooper of Seaham, Co Durham
Cat Ava had to be euthanised but Alfie and four other cats were saved and are available for rehoming.

RSPCA inspectors visited Cooper’s home and found Ava with a large infected tumour in her stomach. She had never been seen by a vet The animal was also severely underweight and sadly had to be put to sleep.

Speaking about the case RSPCA Inspector Cathy Maddison said: “When I visited the property in April this year, I found a dog and five cats.

“One cat – Ava – was in an absolutely shocking condition. [She] had a very large infected tumour on her stomach which was open and filled with pus.

“She was also extremely underweight – just skin and bone. With the owner’s consent, I rushed her to the vet.

“Sadly, due to the inoperable and cancerous tumour, Ava’s condition was so severe that to prevent her suffering any further the vet decided the kindest option was to put the poor cat to sleep, also with the consent of the owner.

“This was an awful case as there was nothing that could be done for Ava by the time the RSPCA was made aware of the situation.

“But I’m just thankful that Alfie the dog and the other cats are in our care and they too are no longer at risk of suffering.”

Total of £430 in fines, costs and charges. Three-year ban on keeping animals (expires August 2021).

Sunderland Echo

Chesterfield, Derbyshire: Sarah Burnham and Louise Wood

#TheList Sarah Burnham, 27, and Louise Wood, 61, formerly of Hunloke Road, Holmewood, Chesterfield S42 5RZ – mistreated 19 dogs and 3 cats who were kept in filth and squalor

Together with Louise Wood Sarah Burnham kept 19 dogs and 3 cats in appalling conditions
Together with Louise Wood Sarah Burnham kept 19 dogs and 3 cats in appalling conditions

Wood and Burnham pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the 19 dogs and three cats by subjecting them to an environment which was detrimental to their wellbeing between October 2017 and January 2018.

The animals were kept in appalling conditions in their own excrement in dark rooms.

Burnham,  now of no fixed abode, and Wood, now of Edensor Court, Middlecroft, Chesterfield, were both fined £360 each and were each ordered to pay a £36 victim surcharge and £300 costs. Both Wood and Burnham were also disqualified from keeping animals for life and no application to lift the order will be allowed for ten years.

Derbyshire Times

Slough: Teresa Reynolds

#TheList backyard breeder Teresa Reynolds, aged 55, of 274 Long Furlong Drive, Slough SL2 2PR – kept dogs and cats in dirty and undersized cages.

Backyard breeder Teresa Reynolds of Slough, Berkshire
23 dogs and cats were removed from backyard breeder Reynolds’ property. Two dead puppies were found in a bin.

Reynolds was convicted of 11 offences of failing to ensure animal welfare. She  was prosecuted after a complaint regarding the breeding and selling animals was investigated by the neighbourhood services team of Slough Borough Council (SBC) in 2017.

The court heard how council and Thames Valley Police officers were overwhelmed by the smell of faeces and urine and the sheer number of animals in Reynolds two-bedroom council home.

When Reynolds was asked how many pets there were, she did not know.

Pugs, poodles, cocker spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, shih-tzus and chihuahuas were among the animals found.

SBC Neighbourhood manager Ian Blake told the court how he found 16 dogs stacked up in dirty cages that were too small for them and had no access to water. Some of the animals were caged in pairs.

More animals were found in the garden including a large poodle, who had no access to the property due to a stairgate blocking the way. The only water present for her was in a bucket which contained other items.

Four cats were discovered in a bird aviary in the garden, whose overflowing litter trays were placed next to their water bowls.

The only clean crate found with bedding, food and water inside, contained no animal.

During the trial, it was revealed that officers found two dead puppies in a wheelie bin outside the house.

Reynolds told Mr Blake that she had been unable to feed them after their mother had died.

All 23 cats and dogs were removed from the property and transported to the Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maidenhead, where it was noted that several dogs were heavily soiled, two of the female cats were pregnant.

A tom cat’s fur was so heavily matted it needed to be shaved to prevent long-term suffering.

Documents seized from the home indicated that Reynolds was selling animals from her home and that more than 250 animals had been handled within the property over two years.

Receipts were found for dogs being sold for £1,200, £900 and various other amounts, as well as bank statements with transactions indicating the sale of puppies and kittens.

Complaints about Reynolds breeding and selling animals have dated back to 2010, but this was the first time there was evidence for a prosecution.

The council’s fraud team became involved, who discovered that Reynolds had failed to update the benefits team that she was receiving income from her trading.

As a result, she was additionally found guilty of two counts of fraud after falsely claiming benefits.

Having been signed over to the council, all the animals have been re-homed and are doing well.

Sentence: 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work, a 15 day rehabilitation requirement, £2,000 in legal costs.  Seven-year ban on owning any animal.

Slough Express

Bexleyheath, London: Janet Oxlade

#TheList Callous breeder Janet Oxlade, age 67, of 9 Grazeley Close, Bexleyheath, London DA6 7QF – kept 38 dogs and 18 cats in filthy makeshift pens in her back garden and crates inside the house

Callous breeder Janet Oxlade from Bexleyheath, London kept dogs and cats in horrifying conditions
Callous breeder Janet Oxlade from Bexleyheath, London kept dogs and cats in horrifying conditions

Oxlade pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences following an RSPCA raid at her home in Bexleyheath.

An independent vet who joined officers on the raid said it was some of the worst conditions he’d ever seen and compared the matted filth in the animal’s coats to “armour-plating”.

RSPCA Inspector Cliff Harrison filmed around two hours of footage as evidence. In the video he says: “There’s filth and mud everywhere and the dogs couldn’t get out of the dirt at all. It’s absolutely disgusting.

“The animals are smothered in faeces. They just don’t know where to go.

“It’s utterly disgraceful to keep animals in these conditions.”

The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit joined Metropolitan Police to execute a warrant at the Bexleyheath property in January after calls from concerned members of the public who had bought puppies from the address in the run-up to Christmas.

“We’d had a number of complaints over recent years about this address but never had enough evidence to act on,” said RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport.

“In 2017, local inspectors dealt with a handful of calls and attended the property but Ms Oxlade wouldn’t let us in.

“People became suspicious of her as they were never allowed outside of the living room of the home – which was kept in pristine condition – and couldn’t see the conditions the animals were being kept in.

“Between the end of November and a few days before Christmas we had six further complaints from the public relating to Basset hounds, dachshunds and a boxer. Sadly, one of the dachshunds died of parvovirus on Christmas Day.”

Many of the animals taken into care by the RSPCA were in a dreadful state.

One Newfoundland was found with seriously deformed legs and couldn’t walk.  Others suffered from severe dental disease, some with docked tails and many had eye infections and ears clogged with built-up hair and wax.

Inspector Lamport added: “These dogs were living amongst absolute chaos, there was filth and mud everywhere, and many of the animals had no access to water.

“Away from all of this mayhem, the living room was kept in absolutely pristine condition. We suspect this is the room in which members of the public were invited to meet their new puppy in order to convince them that the dogs were raised in high-quality conditions.

“The truth of what lay beyond that living room door, was far from the image they painted to the public.”

Co-defendant Glen Hayes who pleaded not guilty is due to stand trial in November 2018.

20-week suspended prison sentence; costs of £2,000. Banned from keeping animals for life