#TheList Henry Hamilton, born 26/10/1953, of 10 Blackwood Street, Belfast BT7 3AS: convicted of animal cruelty after his cockapoo puppy’s rotting and broken leg has to be amputated
Henry Hamilton pleaded guilty to a number of offences including causing unnecessary suffering to his pet, Gypsy.
The prosecution was brought by Belfast City Council after a vet reported the cruelty.
Henry is reported to have ignored vet instructions on how to properly care for his little golden ‘cockapoo’ following the injury, leaving the same bandage on the dog for five weeks.
A council spokesperson said: ” In May 2017, Belfast City Council’s animal welfare service attended a veterinary practice in East Belfast to assess a female golden cockapoo-type dog that had its left hind leg bandaged.
“The leg had rotted away as a result of an untreated fracture. As a result, the pup, called Gypsy, had to have its leg amputated.
“A council investigation showed that following an initial consultation with a vet on 19 April, 2017, regarding an injury to the dog’s leg, Henry Hamilton did not follow the vet’s instructions to make sure the dog’s leg was cared for properly.
“Instead, the initial bandage remained in place from 19 April 2017 until 26 May 2017, causing the dog unnecessary suffering, severe pain and the amputation of its leg as a direct result of not receiving proper veterinary care needed.
“Initially Henry Hamilton pleaded not guilty to offences, however, during the contested hearing in November 2018, submitted a guilty plea which was adjourned for sentencing until today.
“Today (14 Feb 2018) he received a six month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.”
Gypsy, who now has only three legs, has since been re-homed.
Sentencing: six month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. Disqualified from owning and keeping animals for five years.
#TheList Christopher Paul Adam, born c. 1992, of The Avenue, Coxhoe, Co Durham DH6 4AD – kept dogs Charlie and Lola in horrific conditions and deprived them of food and water
RSPCA inspectors turned up at father-of-two Adam’s former home on Heathway, Seaham, in August 2018 where Lola was found in a dog crate in his backyard and Charlie was found in a brick outhouse.
The dogs were noticeably thirsty and starving and had nowhere comfortable to sleep.
RSPCA inspector, Rowena Proctor, said: “I was shocked to see how Lola and Charlie were living, particularly after being shown through what was an immaculately clean house.
“Lola was in a dog crate that was entirely empty aside from her, curled up in a ball. There was no bedding, food or water. Adam let her out then went to an outhouse from where he let out Charlie.
“It was immediately obvious that both dogs were very thirsty and that Lola in particular was hungry. They quickly started to drink dirty puddle water and what appeared to be rainwater that had filled a dirty kitchen bowl. Charlie toileted and Lola immediately ate it.
“Lola was obviously very, very thin and her white coat was dirty and smelly, her feet and legs were stained brown and yellow.
“Adam allowed me to look inside the outhouse which had very little natural light and was piled high with tools and other belongings leaving Charlie – who is a large dog – with very little space to move.
“There was no comfortable place for Charlie to rest. There was a piece of old carpet on the floor but, as she couldn’t escape from the tiny space she was in to toilet, it was heavily soiled with her own urine and faeces.
“The smell was overpowering. It must have been an absolutely awful place to be confined.
“There was a water bowl inside the outhouse but it was empty and dry.”
Both dogs were removed with the owner’s permission and taken to a vets for examination before being taken into possession by police on vet advice.
Lola weighed 6.4kg and was emaciated with her ribs, pelvis and spine all able to be seen through her coat and a vet said her size has been stunted and she will always be of small stature as a result of being starved at a young age.
Charlie weighed 25.2kg and was very underweight. The vet stated that a dog of Charlie’s size should weigh in excess of 30kg.
#TheList Tomas Gabriel Couceiro Ferreira, born 02/04/1996, of 15 Edmund Street, Shaw, Oldham OL2 8EY – beat his Bichon Frise dog with a metal pole in a series of violent attacks, causing her to suffer multiple broken bones and to lose an eye
Tomas Ferreira’s Bichon Frise Skye was discovered with a broken jaw, broken ribs, a broken bone in her back leg and 10 broken teeth.
She also suffered a ruptured eyeball which had to be removed, completely robbing her of her sight because she was already blind in her other eye.
Tameside Magistrates’ Court heard that Ferreira was violent and regularly abused the dog.
When the RSPCA visited Ferreira’s then home in Gamesley, which is near Glossop, Derbyshire, they discovered blood splatters around the house and a number of metal poles with blood on them, including one with white hair on it.
Skye was rescued by a member of the public who saw her in a distressed state and took her to Victoria Veterinary centre in Glossop where she was given pain relief and the RSPCA were alerted.
Inspector Nichola Waterworth went to collect Skye and she was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where the extent of her injuries were discovered.
Veterinary staff were worried that the fractured jaw may have been beyond repair as it was an older injury but Skye was able to recover by wearing a special muzzle for a month which held the broken bones in place while they healed.
Ferreira was found guilty causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by the infliction of a blunt force trauma and physical violence.
Ferreira has a history of violence and in November 2017, when he was living in Taunton, Somerset, faced charges of assault against two women and a man. The outcome of his trial is unknown.
Skye has since been rehomed and is said to still be an affectionate and confident dog, despite her ordeal.
Inspector Waterworth said: “The member of the public who rescued the dog said she looked broken and was really concerned for her well-being.
“How she survived such horrific attacks is unbelievable really but she had so many injuries and broken bones there was a real concern she wouldn’t pull through.
“But she is a brave little character and despite having her ruptured eye removed, making her completely blind, she also had to wear a special muzzle for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and eat with it on – she went through all this and has made an amazing recovery.
“The jail sentence shows violence against animals, like Skye, will not be tolerated. I am delighted to say she has now been re-homed into a loving environment where she is being given the life she deserves.
“Despite her blindness she is confident and still likes to get out and about and explore and she is so affectionate.”
Sentence: Jailed for 18 weeks; ordered to pay £150 victim surcharge. Banned for life from keeping animals.
#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
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.
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.
“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.
#TheList Nathan James Kendrick, born c. 1993, of Wheatsheaf Lane, Gwersyllt, Wrexham LL11 – threw a Yorkshire terrier-type dog out of a first-floor window during an argument with his former partner
Habitual criminal Nathan Kendrick, whose 21 previous convictions include common assault, grievous bodily harm and drug dealing, hurled the helpless dog out of a bedroom window in front of his former partner Lucy Lewis and her two children. Miraculously the dog was uninjured.
Kendrick had been in an “on/off” relationship with Ms Lewis which she broke off two weeks before the incident.
When she went to collect her son from a nearby playing field, Kendrick followed them home and took the dog off the lead and said he was “going to hang the dog on Gwersyllt railway station”.
When she rang Kendrick later he told her it was “dead”.
She went round to his house and watched as Kendrick threw the dog from the bedroom window.
He then came out of his property and attacked Ms Lewis, almost pushing her in front of an oncoming vehicle.
In January 2019 Kendrick received an 18-week sentence for the attack on Ms Lewis and a further 18 weeks to run concurrently for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Kendrick’s barrister, Matthew Curtis, argued that his client had been treated harshly and a community sentence would have been more appropriate.
Curtis said: “There were a number of pushes on his former partner, but this was of lower culpability and the starting point is a medium-level community order,” said Mr Curtis
However, the judge said the custodial sentence reflected that Ms Lewis had been targeted and was in fear of suffering serious injury, adding that it was “more in luck that the dog was not maimed or killed”.
He described Kendrick as “controlling” and said that his “antecedents show a worrying lack of control and threatening behaviour and violence.”
#TheList Jodie Wardil, born c. 1991, of Sherlock Lane, Wallasey, Wirral CH44 – abandoned pet dog in an empty property; left a rabbit to starve to death in her hutch
Single mother-of-four Jodie Wardil left rabbit Annie to starve to death before callously dumping her emaciated body in a wheelie bin.
It was only thanks to eagle-eyed neighbours that the case of appalling neglect came to light, along with that of a Staffordshire bull terrier named Buster.
Wardil pleaded guilty at Wirral magistrates’ court to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and a further charge of failing to ensure animal welfare.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, said the RSPCA were first alerted by a worried neighbour who reported a dog had been left alone in a house.
The neighbour said he had been feeding the dog by pushing food through the letterbox for several days.
When the RSPCA inspector arrived and looked through the letterbox, he could see the dog had a severe skin infection.
The inspector later received a call from Wardil, during which she agreed to sign Buster over to the RSPCA.
When the inspector returned to collect Buster, a neighbour approached him to tell him the defendant had dumped a dead rabbit into a wheelie bin.
Initially Wardil claimed Annie the rabbit had been collected by her ex-partner.
The inspector recovered the emaciated rabbit from a black bin bag in the wheelie bin.
Wardil said both animals had been neglected because she had not been living at the property and her “mind was elsewhere”.
On examination, Buster was found to have inflamed skin and to be “alive with fleas.” Following treatment, he made a full recovery and has since been re-homed.
The rabbit was found to be totally emaciated as a result of chronic starvation, lasting several weeks, with every part of the skeleton visible, and an untreated eye condition which had attracted maggots.
Chairman of the bench, Peter Sanders, told Wardil: “Animals rely for their well-being on human beings. The only thing that takes away from a custodial sentence is your mental state.”
Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “This was a serious case of prolonged neglect which had devastating effects for poor Annie the rabbit.
“Annie, who was already suffering with an untreated eye condition, was then left to starve to death before being callously dumped in the bin.
“Rabbit neglect is so incredibly sad as it often goes undetected until it’s too late.
“They’re far too easy to acquire and to neglect often without anyone ever knowing.
“Thankfully I’m able to report that Buster, who is a typical lovely and boisterous Staffie has made a full recovery and has been rehomed.
“I’m grateful to the members of the public who were clearly on the ball and ensured that the situation was reported to us.”
Sentencing: 18-month community order. Fined £585. Banned from keeping animals for life with the right of appeal after five years.
#TheList Justin Jervis, born c. 1976, of Gorst Street, Anfield, Liverpool L4 0SB – refused to take his ailing elderly dog for free veterinary treatment, leaving her to suffer in agony for almost a year
Justin Jervis’s Shar-pei Bubbles was put to sleep by vets at the PDSA in Kirkdale on September 3, 2018 – after she was presented in a horrifying skeletal state.
The golden Shar-pei was also infected with mature maggots which had nested in her ear canal and began migrating throughout her head, as well as having a back leg which was hugely swollen from cancerous growths.
Jervis pleaded guilty to three charges of causing suffering to an animal, after leaving his dog to suffer in pain for nearly a year.
Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Peter Mitchell told the court that Bubbles had first been presented to vets at the PDSA in October 2017.
At that point, she was already in such a poor condition that vets suggested euthanasia to prevent any further suffering. Bubbles weighed just 18kg and was categorised as underweight by the RSPCA body weight scoring system.
The system scores animals between one and nine – one representing total emaciation and nine being obese. At the time of her death, Bubbles scored one.
When vets saw Bubbles on October 25, 2017, Jervis asked to be given pain killers for his pet. He was given the medication on the condition that he returned one week later for a follow-up appointment.
He did not return to the PDSA for nearly a year, by which point his dog was at death’s door.
Mr Mitchell said: “Mr Jervis was interviewed under caution and had to be arrested in relation to the matter. He minimised the situation the dog was in and when asked specific questions he made no comment.
“When asked if the dog was caused to suffer or was distressed, he said no comment.
“Sean Taylor [a vet who saw Bubbles] said the dog was in an emaciated condition. The right ear canal was thick with maggots, there were masses on the legs and in the lungs. The dog was clearly in distress back in October 2017 and not then represented until September 2018.
“After that pain medication, it would have continued to suffer and got worse in that 11 months. He says the dog was suffering due to weight loss and due to the condition around the ear with maggots.
“For all these reasons, he says the dog was suffering for 11 months.”
The inspector who handled this upsetting and distressing case described it as among the worst she had seen in her 16 year career with the RSPCA – and burst into tears when the sentence was read out.
Looking at the photos of the neglect, Judge Shaw said: “They are terrible photos aren’t they? I don’t think I have ever seen a dog in that condition.”
Sentencing Jervis, Judge Shaw said: “On November 25, 2017 you were aware that your dog was so poorly that the vet wanted you to consider euthanasia on that occasion. You were asked to take the dog back after seven days.
“Over the next 10 months your dog lost weight to the point where she was obviously emaciated and it’s perfectly clear to any sensible onlooker that the dog was in appalling physical condition.
“The vets choose to use a body scoring condition of one to nine and they chose one for your dog. Her physical condition was appalling and pathetic. You were responsible for her care. Your neglect could equally be considered as cruelty.”
Defending Jervis in court, Emma Smith said: “This is not a case where he has deliberately harmed the dog and he found that very difficult to accept. For 12 years there were no medical issues in relation to the dog that he failed to seek medical assistance for.”
She added: “You might find it difficult to believe but he clearly did have very strong feelings towards the dog. He was upset with himself and upset that the dog had to be put to sleep. It wasn’t done through any type of malice or hatred of animals.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, of which he will serve eight weeks in prison and spend 12 months on licence. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years and forbidden from appealing the conditions of this ban for at least 10 years.
#TheList Carla French, born c. 1980, of 22 Jameson Crescent, St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 9JA – failed to take injured dog to the vet
French pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a male brindle and white Staffordshire bull terrier by failing to provide proper and necessary veterinary care and attention for a tail injury. The offence took place at St Leonards between July 2 and July 7, 2018.
She was fined £80 and ordered to pay £300 in prosecution costs. Magistrates banned her from keeping an animal for seven years, recording that the reason was ‘an inability to care for animals’.
#TheList Liam Reynolds, born c. 1990, of Oxland Road, Illogan, Redruth TR16 4SH – jailed after appalling conditions led to the deaths of at least three dogs.
Reynolds, who is unemployed and was living in a caravan at Cocks Roost, St Just, at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to all charges against him. These related to six dogs for which he was responsible.
Police and RSPCA officers attended the site on March 29, 2018, having been concerned about dogs in the care of Reynolds in the past, and were said to have been deeply affected by what they discovered.
The bodies of two dogs were found. One had been left to decompose inside a plastic bag used to store animal feed and the other, Sam, was found in a makeshift kennel. The court heard that witnesses had described a “powerful smell of rotting flesh”.
A lurcher called Ben was thin and had scars around his head and muzzle. He was also found to have what was described as a “de-gloving” injury – when skin is lost – on his face and was likely to have been in considerable pain but had not received any treatment.
Three dogs were found inside a “cramped” trailer without water. One of those was a beagle named Bruno who was described as being aggressive and later had to be put down. A dog called Tia was found inside the caravan which was in a “shambolic state” with a “build-up of faeces, especially on the mattress”.
Kevin Withey, prosecuting for the RSPCA, revealed: “If the circumstances didn’t change [the dogs] would be at significant risk.”
During a search of the site remains of at least three other dogs were also found.
Before signing over care of the dogs to the police, Reynolds told officers: “I know I’ve f*cked up.”
A postmortem examination found that Sam had been dead for at least two or three weeks and had died from malnutrition due to starvation. The results from investigations into the death of the other dog were inconclusive because the body had already started to decompose.
Mr Withey revealed that upon writing his statement, a police officer with 21 years of service described the site as the “most upsetting” scene he had ever witnessed. He also said he had “never witnessed animals being forced to live in such poor conditions”.
Mr Withey added that the animals had been “obviously suffering” and their needs were “deliberately ignored”. He also revealed the RSPCA had concerns for two dogs that Reynolds still had access to but claimed belonged to his partner. However during court proceedings, these animals were also surrendered to the animal charity.
District Judge Diane Baker described the events as the “most appalling case of animal cruelty”.
She said she found Reynolds of the highest level of culpability due to the “prolonged period of serious neglect”. Judge Baker added that he ignored advice of the RSPCA to increase the dogs’ diet and ensure water was available.
She continued: “I have no doubt the suffering was obvious. It was ignored in the most inhumane manner.” Upon sentencing, Judge Baker took into account Reynolds’ supposed good character, family difficulties and late guilty plea.
Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence, of which he will serve half. One-year’s probation. Disqualified from owning any animals for 20 years, with no right of appeal for ten years.
#TheList Elizabeth McLeod, born 07/09/1977, of 1 Lawswell, Alloa FK10 3JD -starved a nursing dog and failed to get vet treatment for her potentially fatal infections; puppies also underweight
Elizabeth McLeod pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate care and treatment to her dog, Cody, for two months between April 1 and June 1, 2018.
The court heard that the Scottish SPCA had visited McLeod’s home following a tip-off and found a female dog in a crate with puppies. The dog was described as “incredibly thin, with her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones clearly visible”.
Bedding in the crate smelled foul, and stained with urine and faeces. There was no food or water bowl.
McLeod was told to offer Cody food and water. She ate the food “vociferously, taking large mouthfuls” and drank two full bowls of water very quickly.
Cody had fresh blood on her hind legs and around her vaginal area.
McLeod told the vet she had owned the dog for two years without taking her to the vet.
Subsequent veterinary examinations found Cody to be emaciated with a body score of one out of nine. She had depleted the majority of her fat stores to produce milk for the puppies.
Cody also had a urine infection for which she had to receive an operation. During the procedure she was found to have an enlarged uterus which contained multiple placentas, which had caused infection.
In the vets’ opinion Cody could have gone on to develop potentially fatal septicaemia if left untreated.
Scottish SPCA Inspector Seddon said, “McLeod caused unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for her dog, Cody, who had a bacterial womb infection and for failing to provide her with proper nutrition which put the health of her twelve puppies at risk.
“When I visited the property, Cody was with her puppies in a cage with bedding that was saturated with faeces and urine.
“Cody was found to be incredibly thin, and after examination, the vet described her as emaciated. You could clearly see her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones and her head looked too big for her body. It was also clear there was obvious discharge and blood around her genital area indicating that there was a medical condition.
“I asked McLeod to feed Cody and she voraciously ate two bowls of food. When water was put down for her she drank two full bowls very quickly and half of a third.
“Upon veterinary examination, Cody was given a body condition score of one out of nine. She weighed 27.8kg and the vet considered that she should weigh around 40kg. Ten of her twelve puppies were found to be underweight too. It was also confirmed that Cody was suffering from a bacterial womb infection.
“Due to her infection, Cody had to have her ovaries and womb removed, where vets found multiple retained placenta from giving birth which were causing the infection. If left untreated, she could have died within days.
“I’m delighted to say that Cody made a full recovery and has found her forever home where she is getting the love she deserves. The puppies didn’t last long in our centre and I’m pleased to say they all found their happy homes too.
“We are glad 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.”
Cody and all the puppies have since been rehomed by the animal charity.
Sentencing McLeod, Sheriff David Mackie told her: “The court accepts there was no will to harm the dogs.”
Sentencing: 12 months of supervision. Banned from looking after dogs for five years.