Category Archives: Dogs

Cruelty to dogs

Coleraine, Co Londonderry: Anthony O’Hara

#TheList Anthony O’Hara, aged 21, of Killowen Street, Coleraine BT51 – kicked and injured a pet dog in a cowardly attack

O’Hara, previously of Churchlands Road, Coleraine, has been put on probation for 18 months after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and possessing cannabis.

He must undertake 100 hours of community service “so that every time he picks up a piece of litter or paints a wall” he remembers his crime.

A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday that on July 20 2018 a heavily pregnant neighbour said O’Hara had been kicking a bin and then gave her the “middle finger” and swore at her.

The woman locked her door and put an ironing board across it in case O’Hara would try to get in.

The defendant was again verbally abusive to her and she feared that he was “going to stab” her.

A charge of common assault was withdrawn.

The woman then heard the defendant’s dog yelping for 10 to 15 minutes, and it stopped following “a very loud thud”.

Fearing for the safety of the animal, the woman called police, who found the dog bleeding from the nose.

There was also a strong smell of cannabis in O’Hara’s home and £20 of the drug was seized.

The prosecutor said the dog was taken to a vet and had trauma to an eye, a haemorrhage to its mouth, was withdrawn and nervous and was underweight for its age.

When interviewed by police, O’Hara said he had no recollection of the events with the neighbour.

He said the dog had a “bloodshot” eye as he was out jogging with this pet and a lead caught around a lamppost.

Regarding the other injury, he admitted to police he must have “clipped the dog too hard when he barked”.

He said he was feeding the dog but it was underweight because of “worms”.

Defence barrister Ben Thompson said the dog has now been rehomed to live with a friend of O’Hara’s.

The lawyer said there was “no one more upset or ashamed” of what he had done to the dog than the defendant.

His client, he said, had been living a chaotic lifestyle at the time and his behaviour was “extremely erratic” because of substance misuse which involved “risk taking” amid a relationship with alcohol.

The defendant, who had a record, works for a manufacturing company but Mr Thompson said the offences happened when he had been at his “absolute lowest ebb”.

He said a “thoroughly ashamed” O’Hara had not breached any bail conditions, which had involved an alcohol condition.

Mr Thompson added that “he knows how this case will change the public perception of him” and that there would be “consequences”.

District Judge Liam McNally said the defendant had committed a “cowardly act of kicking a dog” and causing injury, and said it was well-known courts treated that type of offence seriously.

In passing down the probation sentence and the community service, the judge also banned O’Hara from having the pet, or any dog, for the next 10 years.

He warned the defendant if there were any slip-ups he would be re-sentenced to four months in jail.

Community service; 18-month probation; 10-year ban on keeping dogs

Belfast Telegraph

Airdrie, North Lanarkshire: James and Jacqueline McGrory

#TheList James and Jacqueline McGrory of Oronsay Road, Airdrie ML6 8FX – left their elderly dog to suffer with alopecia and sores all over her body

James & Jacqueline McGrory and Penny, the elderly dog they left to suffer
James & Jacqueline McGrory and Penny, the elderly dog they left to suffer

James and Jacqueline McGrory’s pet dog Penny had to be  euthanised to prevent any further suffering

Despite Penny’s poor condition, the pair didn’t take  her  for veterinary treatment.

During proceedings earlier this month, the court heard how the vet who tried to treat the dog said “any sensible owner would have presented Penny at a vet earlier”.

After an anonymous call to the Scottish SPCA in May 2018 about the neglect, Penny was taken from the couple for immediate treatment.

But after failing to respond she was put to sleep so as not to “extend her suffering”.

The procurator fiscal told the court: “An inspector from the Scottish SPCA attended the locus after a call about a dog suffering from hair loss and sores.

“The dog was a black and tan female collie called Penny and she had a skin complaint and was struggling on her feet.

“The home had a bad smell and Mr McGrory was cautioned and told he was under investigation for neglect.”

It was the opinion of the SPCA that Penny had been unnecessarily neglected for a few weeks. She was transferred to a rehoming centre and classified as grossly obese.

The animal also had a bacterial infection and “pus” leaked from her sores.

She yelped in pain when touched and it was decided that she be euthanised to avoid extending her suffering.

A post-mortem suggestion that Penny had been exposed to a toxic substance was not proven.

The fiscal added: “The vet said that ‘any sensible owner would have presented Penny at a vet earlier’.

“But the failure to do so meant the condition became irreversible.”

In mitigation, the pair’s defence solicitor Luke O’Curry told the court: “They are very anxious about this and both are in full employment.

“They rescued Penny themselves and cared for her. There was a development of alopecia that they tried to deal with on the advice of Pets at Home.

“They initially thought the sores were improving but they came back in some force.

“They admit they should have taken her to the vet. When she arrived at the vet on May 7 her suffering was quickly brought to a conclusion.”

He added: “They both dearly loved this dog and just wanted to hang onto her for a bit longer.

“They can pay a financial penalty and have never been in court before.”

£300 to cover the Scottish SPCA’s costs. Banned from owning animals for five years (possible additional penalties to follow at a further sentencing hearing on 14/11/2018)

Scottish Daily Record

Bangor, County Down: James Michael Lane

#TheList James Michael Lane, born July 1968, of Groomsport Road, Bangor, County Down BT20 – failed to act when his 14-year-old Labrador developed a painful “satsuma-sized” tumour.

A lawyer for Ards and North Down Council, which prosecuted the case,  told the court an enforcement officer was contacted by a member of the public who had “serious concerns over the body condition” of a stray dog.

When the officer attended, he saw a “large open abscess growth on the side of the dog’s neck” so took the animal, called Tess, to the vet, who said that she was suffering.

In addition to that tumour, which was “red raw and coated in puss”, there was a second, smaller lump beside it, and the dog was described as skinny with her “ribs and spine clearly showing”.

Optometrist and company director Lane was spoken to and confirmed the family had owned Tess since she was a puppy, but she was now “doubly incontinent” and that the tumour had been there for about a month but had only opened in the previous two weeks because she had been scratching at it.

“He said that he hoped the dog would die peacefully,” said the lawyer, but he added the vet had told Lane that instead “she would likely die a slow and painful death”.

Lane signed the dog over voluntarily and she was put to sleep.

A defence solicitor entered guilty pleas on Lane’s behalf to offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, and failing to take reasonable steps to meet the dog’s needs on a date unknown on or before April 21 2016.

The solicitor said Tess had belonged to Lane’s daughter who had been sitting her A-levels and he did not want to upset her.

“He has been very contrite and in reflection, he should have euthanised the dog at an earlier stage,” the solicitor said.

Following the guilty pleas, the council’s lawyer withdrew the same charges against Lane’s wife, fellow optometrist and co-director of Lane & Lane (N.I.) Ltd, Carol Anne Lane ( born November 1967).

James Michael Lane and wife Carole Anne Lane operate an optician’s business named Lane & Lane.

Fined £5,000 plus costs. No ban was imposed by the court.

Belfast Telegraph

Birmingham: Leanne Marie Ungless

#TheList Leanne Marie Ungless, aged 35, of Avondale Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham B11 –  convicted in her absence of animal cruelty after her pet dog Roxy was found starving in the street

Cruel single mother-of-four Leanne Ungless, who is originally from Nottingham, threw her emaciated dog out onto the streets to die
Cruel single mother-of-four Leanne Ungless, who is originally from Nottingham, threw her emaciated dog out onto the streets to die

Staffy Roxy was found wandering near to the the Ackers Adventure Centre in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. She was in such a poor condition that the RSPCA launched an immediate investigation.

Inspector Herchy Boal, who led the successful prosecution, found out the dog was microchipped to an address in Nottingham, which is where Ungless is originally from.

The woman at the East Midlands property said she had given Roxy away to a family member and provided her with Ungless’s address.

Inspector Boal visited Ungless’s home  on a number of occasions and left messages for her to get in touch – but she failed to make contact.

Leanne Ungliss was banned from keeping animals for life.

Ungless was summoned to Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 5, 2018, to face an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Roxy but failed to appear and was convicted in her absence.

Speaking about the case Inspector Boal said: “Poor Roxy was very emaciated and she was basically thrown out on the streets by her owner who should have been caring for her.

“There is never an excuse for failing to meet the needs of an animal and allowing them to get into such a poor and emaciated condition.”

12-month community order, which includes a 12-week curfew order between 8pm and 7am. Total costs and charges of £585. Banned from keeping animals for life.


UPDATED: Dunfermline, Fife: Robert Goodwillie and Levi Bissett

#TheList: Robert Goodwillie, aged 29, and partner Levi Chantelle Bissett (aka Levi Hamilton or Levi Mallett), born 26/05/1994, both of Broomhead Drive, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 9AG – for cruelty to a shih-tsu dog named Suki

Paedophile Robert Goodwillie and partner Levi Bissett of Dunfermline abused a little dog named Suki
Paedophile Robert Goodwillie and partner Levi Bissett of Dunfermline abused a little dog named Suki (pictured).

Goodwillie and partner Bissett admitted that over a three-month period they caused Suki unnecessary suffering.

They failed to provide adequate veterinary treatment causing chronic skin condition, dry eye and overgrown claw issues resulting in complications with her health.

Paedophile Goodwillie, who has a previous conviction for the possession of child pornography, also admitted that at his home on April 10, 2018, he caused Suki unnecessary suffering by dragging and kicking her, launching her in the air, resulting in her landing on the ground with her legs splayed.

Convicted paedophile and dog abuser Robert Goodwillie from Dunfermline

Suki had to be euthanised because of her poor condition.

In court for sentencing neither Goodwillie nor Bissett were represented by a solicitor.

Twisted Robert Goodwillie and his partner Levi Bissett pictured outside court
Twisted Robert Goodwillie and his partner Levi Bissett pictured outside court

Asked by Sheriff Craig McSherry if they had anything to say about the offences, they both shook their heads.

Despite the despicable cruelty the pair had inflicted on a helpless dog, no ban on keeping animals was imposed by the court.

Four-month restriction of liberty orders.

The Sun
Fife Reporter



Saltash, Cornwall: Andrew Pearson

#TheList Andrew Pearson, born September 1968, of Wheldons, Trevollard Lane, Trematon, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 4RX – left emaciated dogs outside in squalid conditions with no food or water

Andrew Pearson from Saltash, Cornwall, kept his dogs outside in grim conditions. Many were emaciated.
Andrew Pearson from Saltash, Cornwall, kept his dogs outside in grim conditions. Many were emaciated.

Five emaciated dogs belonging to father-of-five Andrew Pearson, owner of a tree surgeon business named Professional Monkey,  were found alongside five others who were all living outside in grim conditions without food or water at a smallholding in Saltash.

Pearson was convicted of failing to explore the cause of the dogs’ poor body condition and for failing to ensure they were kept in a suitable environment.

Andrew Pearson from Saltash, Cornwall, kept his dogs outside in grim conditions. Many were emaciated.

Andrew Pearson from Saltash, Cornwall, kept his dogs outside in grim conditions. Many were emaciated.

Andrew Pearson from Saltash, Cornwall, kept his dogs outside in grim conditions. Many were emaciated.

Investigating RSPCA inspector Claire Ryder said: “Animal owners have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure their needs are meet. This includes providing an appropriate environment, a suitable diet, the ability to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, a need to be housed with or without other animals and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.”

18 weeks’ custody, suspended for 19 months. 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £415 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Plymouth Live

Newmains, North Lanarkshire: Donna Laird

#TheList Donna Laird (née Macgregor), aged 40, of 2 Aitken Close, Newmains, Wishaw ML2 9BJ –  allowed her elderly pet  dog Skye to became significantly underweight.

Convicted dog abuser Donna Laird of Aitken Close, Newmains, Wishaw, and the dog she left to suffer, Skye
Convicted dog abuser Donna Laird of Aitken Close, Newmains, Wishaw, and the dog she left to suffer, Skye

Laird admitted causing unnecessary suffering to bulldog Skye between Christmas Day 2017 and February 7, 2018.

Laird failed to provide adequate care and treatment for her pet and failed to obtain veterinary advice.

Skye was suffering from poor body condition and a range of health issues including weight and muscle loss, a skin condition and chronic ear condition.

Laird’s solicitor, Kevin McCarron, said his client had been “very distressed” by the situation.

He told the court: “She had this dog for 10 years when it was in good health and well cared for. A culmination of factors contributed to the situation. It was a case of negligence rather than outright intent.”

Passing sentence, Sheriff Daniel Kelly QC told the accused: “I appreciate you come to court not previously having been involved in such proceedings.

“However, this was an extremely worrying situation. The dog was significantly underweight.

“It seemed to be covered in warts and was in obvious discomfort. This must have been going on for some time and the animal must have suffered as a result.”

Fined £500. Banned from owning or looking after an animal for five years (expires October 2023).

Daily Record

Carlisle, Cumbria: Kaine Moon Hardie

#TheList Kaine Moon Hardie, aged 24, of Forest Hill, Carlisle CA1 3HF – repeatedly kicked and punched a greyhound rescue dog

Carlisle dog abuser Kaine Moon Hardie and his victim - a rescue greyhound

Hardie admitted causing the dog  (pictured) unnecessary suffering.

The cruelty came to light thanks to off-duty police officer Christoper Brennand.

He had been driving past when he saw the defendant viciously attacking the dog on London Road, Carlisle, on September 30, 2018.

First, the officer saw Hardie kicking the dog in his legs forcefully.

Then Hardie delivered a second kick to the dog’s ribs, causing her to yelp out in pain.

Another witness, a woman pedestrian, intervened after seeing Hardie punching and kicking the dog, and dragging her along the pavement.

When police interviewed Hardie, he blamed his actions on drinking too much.

He told police he had been drinking vodka.

Dog abuser Kaine Moon Hardie from Carlisle


John Cooper, for Hardie, said the defendant had owned the dog for two-and-a-half years.

“His mother works for a rescue shelter and that is how he got hold of the dog,” said the lawyer.

“In those two and a half years, that dog has become his closest friend. He is adamant that he has never done anything like this before.”

Mr Cooper said the dog was regularly given veterinary treatment, and taken out on to the fells by Hardie.

He said that the dog went everywhere with the defendant, who could not recall mistreating the animal.

Dog abuser Kaine Moon Hardie from Carlisle
The dog abused by her drunken owner Kaine Hardie

The lawyer pleaded with District Judge Gerald Chalk to let Hardie keep the dog. But Judge Chalk refused, telling Hardie: “This seems to have been gratuitous violence, committed in drink.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work, £85 costs, and an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.

News and Star

Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Tara Louise Bridges

#TheList Tara Louise Bridges, born 08/05/1986, of Beaconsfield Road, Rotherham S60 – allowed poodle terrier cross dogs Lila and Moxy to starve to death

Convicted animal abuser Tara Louise Bridges from Rotherham and Moxy, one of the two dogs she allowed to starve to death

RSPCA inspectors found the dead bodies of 3yo Lila and Moxy aged 5 when they visited Bridges’ home on January 30, 2018. Both dogs had died from starvation.
The court heard the dogs had been left dead for so long that Lila was found with maggots in one of her eye sockets.  Inspectors noted a strong smell of decay at the property. 
It is believed that Lila had died some 10-15 days before Moxy, who had been dead for between three and seven days when inspectors found her.
Bridges told the police during an interview that she had lived alone at the address and was responsible for the dogs.
She said she had them both since they were puppies.
Bridges claimed the dogs were fine just a day before they were found by the RSPCA.
Speaking outside court, RSPCA prosecutor Andrew Vickers said: “The dogs clearly suffered prior to their death.
“She (Bridges) tried to explain that the dogs might have eaten some cannabis they found on the carpet.”
Mr Vickers said that a post-mortem examination found the dogs died as a result of having no food or water.
Bridges was convicted of the charges in her absence after she failed to attend the hearing, prompting magistrates to issue a warrant for her arrest.

Sentencing (12/10/18): 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; £300 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires October 2028). 

Rotherham Advertiser

Exeter, Devon: Claire Hughes

#TheList Claire Hughes, born 10/06/1989, of 89A Burnthouse Lane, Exeter EX2 – left her emaciated dog to suffer in a shocking condition without veterinary attention

Claire Hughes from Exeter starved her dog Lily
Lily was starved by her cruel owner Claire Hughes and died shortly after being rescued

Hughes  admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006: one of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog named Lily and another of failing to meet her needs.

Image may contain: 1 person

An RSPCA officer rushed Lily to a vet but sadly her condition was so serious she didn’t make it.

RSPCA Inspector Marije Zwager, who investigated, said: “This was a frustrating and saddening case where a dog was left to suffer without the care she desperately needed.

“Lily was in a shocking condition when we saw her, it would have been obvious to anyone looking at her she was in need of urgent care.

“Those who own animals have a responsibility to look after them and ensure health conditions are dealt with promptly by a vet to avoid their pets suffering. It is never acceptable to ignore an animal in need.”

Eight weeks in custody, suspended for twelve months, for each offence to run concurrently. Total of £365 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years (expires October 2028).