Category Archives: Hoarders

Animal hoarders

Whitburn, Tyne and Wear: Ardal Rushton-Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunderland Echo

Belton, Doncaster: Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker

#TheList hoarders Simon Hallgarth, born c. 1971, and partner Paul Walker, born c. 1976, both of 2 Holland Close Villas, Woodhouse, Belton, Doncaster DN9 1QJ – for cruelty towards 52 dogs and three goats

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats
Simon Hallgarth (right) and Paul Walker of Belton, Doncaster, were jailed and have been banned from keeping animals for life after admitting cruelty to dozens of dogs and three goats

Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

The RSPCA were alerted to the plight of the pair’s animals after receiving a call to its cruelty line about three abandoned goats, who were found living in a poor environment with no access to water.

As RSPCA Inspector Tamsin Drysdale spoke to Walker, a number of dogs could be heard barking from inside a garage nearby so she asked if she could see them.

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

She said: ““As the garage door was opened the smell of faeces and urine was overwhelming. There were four pens with various breeds of dogs living in them.

“Their food and water bowls were filthy and empty and the dogs were pungent, their coats in various stages of matting.

“The three dogs in the last pen were in such a poor condition I wasn’t sure what breed they were. Two of the dogs were moving, albeit very slowly, but the third dog, a Bichon Frise called Peggy, appeared to be dead.

“I went into the pen and gently shook her and I was shocked when she moved slightly.

“At the vets she was found to be very thin, in respiratory distress and hypothermic. She was initially unable to be examined because of the extent of the matting, which had to be cut away.

“She had a fractured wrist and wounds on her back legs so badly infected that they were down to the bone. The damage was irreparable and she was put to sleep on humane grounds.

“A large number of dogs were also living in the house, and though these were in better condition than those in the garage, many of these were also suffering.”

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

Three other dogs were also put to sleep on veterinary advice, including a 17-year-old Shih Tzu called Daisy who was in severe respiratory distress and had two blind shrunken eyes that were discharging green pus and her ears were also discharging pus.

Another dog, Cookie, had to have a leg amputated.

Seven of the 52 dogs removed from the property were suffering with severe dental disease, four of them with ear infections, two of them with eye infections and one with overgrown nails that had penetrated the pads of the dog’s feet.

Thirteen of the dogs and the three goats did not have their needs met due to the environment they were living in and/or a lack of fresh clean drinking water.

In mitigation, the court heard that Hallgarth had bought the dogs as a way of coping after the death of his mother in 2013, with whom he had bought the property, lived and owned dogs previously.

He accepted that he had caused very high suffering and was remorseful.

Hoarders Paul Walker (left) and Simon Hallgarth from Doncaster have been banned from keeping animals for life
Hoarders Paul Walker (left) and Simon Hallgarth from Doncaster have been banned from keeping animals for life

In respect of Walker, the court heard that the offences had been borne out of concern and care for his husband.

The court heard that both defendants were overwhelmed financially and by the level of care the animals needed. They were of previous good character and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Sentencing: 14 weeks in prison; post-sentence supervision orders of 12 months, less the time served in prison. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

The Star


Aberford, Leeds: Andrew David Hinde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBC News
Yorkshire Evening Post

West Hull: Melanie Melville

#TheList Melanie Jayne Melville (aka Melanie Mason), born 22/01/1980, of 107 Hawthorne Avenue, Hull HU3 3AW – for cruelty towards ten dogs

Animal abuser Melanie Melville of Hull kept 10 dogs in appalling conditions and neglected their needs
Animal abuser Melanie Melville of Hull kept 10 dogs in appalling conditions and neglected their needs

Melville pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences of failing to meet the needs of terriers Smallie, Dimitri, Ruben, Spike, Rosie, Rhianne, Scar, Bella, Bethany, and Lucy. .

The RSPCA became involved when members of the public contacted police after Smallie was found with injuries caused by fighting with other dogs.

The dog was taken to a vet where sadly his injuries were so serious he was put to sleep. The police contacted the RSPCA after concerns were raised about the conditions the animals were living in.

When RSPCA Inspector Jilly Dickinson visited Melville’s home, she found nine dogs living in poor conditions inside the house and in the garden.

Inspector Dickinson said: “The environment was not at all suitable for these dogs, who were all very nervous. Overall there had been ten but sadly Smallie was put to sleep after his injuries.

“The living room, where half of them were living, was dirty and smelly as they were going to the toilet inside. The other half lived in an outbuilding in the garden which was also in poor condition.

“We initially tried to work with Melville to help her improve the conditions and offered neutering vouchers, as none of the dogs were neutered. We offered to visit again to check on the conditions and gave her advice on socialising the dogs.”

When Inspector Dickinson visited the following month, the conditions had not changed.

She said: “There was an overwhelming smell which had become ingrained into the carpet. During this visit I also witnessed the dogs urinating inside. We had given Melville a chance to improve the conditions but sadly none were made.”

As the dogs had had little socialisation, they did not know how to walk on a lead, which meant that when Inspector Dickinson removed the animals, all but two had to be carried into her van.

The court heard that when the nine dogs were examined by a vet, all but two of them had scars consistent with fighting one another.

“This is a sad situation where we tried to work with the owner to improve the dogs’ lives but sometimes we find that advice is not followed,” added Inspector Dickinson.

The nine dogs who were removed from Melville’s house have improved since going into the RSPCA’s care, in July 2018.

Inspector Dickinson said: “They have all improved massively. They were so nervous at first but they are now much better with people and other dogs.

“They have come on leaps and bounds, are much more friendly and confident and should do brilliantly in new, suitable homes.”

Sentencing: 200 hours of unpaid work; 15 days of rehabilitation activities; total of £435 costs and charges. 10-year ban on keeping animals.

ITV News
Hull Live

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder

Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire: Mia Connor

#TheList Mia Beth Connor, born 21/12/97, formerly of Rockhampton Avenue, East Kilbride, and now of Greenfaulds Crescent, Cumbernauld G67 2PJ – for shocking neglect of cats, dogs and lizards

Presa Canario cross Hulk had been locked in a room by his irresponsible owner Mia Connor now of Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire
Presa Canario cross Hulk had been locked in a room by his irresponsible owner Mia Connor

An investigation by the Scottish SPCA found that single mother-of-one Mia Connor had kept her animals in atrocious conditions and deprived them of food and water.

By the time the SSPCA attended Connor’s then property in Westwood, East Kilbride, a bearded dragon and gecko had already died a slow and miserable death. Their decomposed and dessicated bodies were found in an unlit and unheated vivarium. A surviving dragon named Cheech was found to be suffering severe dehydration and hypothermia.

Connor had failed to feed other pets properly, including cats Nemo and MJ, a collie named Luka and a Presa Canario cross called Hulk. Luka especially was very underweight

Foul conditions at the property in which animal abuser Mia Connor kept dogs, cats and lizards
Foul conditions at the property in which animal abuser Mia Connor kept dogs, cats and lizards

SSPCA inspector Jack Marshall described being met with “an overpowering smell of faeces and urine” as he entered Connor’s property which was strewn with rubbish and faeces.

Foul conditions at the property in which animal abuser Mia Connor kept dogs, cats and lizards

Inspector Marshall continued: “Hulk was contained in a bedroom upstairs and when I entered, he was desperate to get out of the room. He was also in a very lean body condition. This room had an overwhelming stench of excrement and urine.

“The animals were transported immediately to the vet and upon examination all were found to be emaciated and dehydrated. Both dogs were given a body score of 2/5. Hulk had a very marked and generalised skin disease which appeared to have had very little treatment. Luka’s coat was in very poor condition and smelled strongly of urine.

“Both cats had evidence of flea infestation.

“Veterinary examination found this to be marked neglect over an extended period of time, for all of the animals, comprising deprivation of the most basic requirements for life, namely food and water. The timescale involved can’t be given precisely but would be expected to be over several weeks.

“Failing to provide for these animals clearly resulted in an unacceptable degree of unnecessary suffering and stress to all the animals involved.”

Connor pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals but was let off with a paltry fine and a five-year ban on keeping animals.

Sentencing:
£600 fine. Banned from keeping animals for just five years.

Scottish SPCA News
Daily Record

Boxley, Kent: Langley Beck

#TheList Langley Beck, born c. 1963, or Bell Lane, Boxley, Maidstone, Kent ME14 39G – kept seven dogs and three ducks without water inside his home

Langley Beck from Boxley, Kent, has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions
Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

Reclusive Langley Beck is said to own 80 acres of property but kept dogs in rooms with surfaces and furniture covered in excrement. Three ducks were found in a ‘hot’ caravan where all the doors and windows were closed. It is believed they had been left without water for 12 hours and had to be euthanised.

Beck, who is believed to live alone at the bleak property in Boxley, is the last member of the area’s oldest farming family.

Medway Magistrates Court heard police and an RSPCA investigator visited his home in July 2017.

Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

RSPCA head investigator Ellie Burtcor entered one portacabin containing four dogs and said her eyes began to water from the stench.

She said: ‘It was absolutely disgusting, my eyes were watering with the urine smell that was coming from there.

‘There was an overwhelming smell of faeces and it was very damp and stagnant.

Langley Beck has been banned for life from keeping animals after housing dogs and ducks in appalling conditions

‘There were piles of faeces everywhere, faeces scraped along the floor, rubbish boxes, there were broken china ornaments.

‘Just everything that was completely unsuitable for a dog to be running around in.’

Giving evidence, Beck said the dogs had all been fed and given water that day and he would have been able to tend to the ducks if he hadn’t been occupied with the police arriving.

When asked about his routine of cleaning the areas the dogs lived in, he remained silent.

Despite the conditions, a vet who inspected the dogs said they were healthy.

A post mortem examination of the ducks concluded that they had gone at least 12 hours without water.

One was in such a bad state it was immediately put down while the other two were euthanised later.

Beck says his family have lived in Boxley for more than 100 years, making them the longest running residents of the village.

Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activities, 100 hours of unpaid work; £1,800 in costs plus an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Metro
KentOnline

Barlby, North Yorkshire: Keith Lewis

#TheList Keith Lewis, born c. 1948, of York Road, Barlby, North Yorkshire YO8 – a serial abuser with three separate convictions for neglect involving dozens of animals including dogs, rabbits, ferrets and birds

In December 2018 RSPCA officers discovered Lewis’s injured dog Meg tethered to a pipe with a chain inside a dark and muddy shed. She had an infected+- neck wound caused by embedded twine.

In the latest prosecution case against him serial abuser Keith Lewis admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog named Meg

The RSPCA attended Lewis’s property on 13 December 2018, along with police after a call from a member of the public and found Meg tethered to a pipe with a chain inside a dark and muddy shed.

RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell said: “The chain and tether were absolutely filthy, caked in mud and faeces.

“You could see that whatever Meg had around her neck was really tight and there was an obvious smell of infection coming from her.

“On closer inspection it became clear that it was in fact bailer twine and she needed urgent veterinary attention.”

Meg was seized by police and taken to a vets who found the area around her neck was matted with pus.

The twine – which had been wrapped around her neck multiple times – was embedded in her skin and muscle and infected, and when the vet cut it off she found a wound all the way around her neck.

Meg’s temperature was high – most likely as a result of the infection – and her lower body was matted with dirt and faeces.

She was operated on to clip and clean the wound and stitch it up and hospitalised for five days.

Veterinary evidence suggested that Meg had suffered for at least two weeks.

Inspector Mitchell said: “This is the worst tethering injury I’ve ever seen in a dog. It was absolutely terrible and she suffered a great deal.

“The RSPCA does not agree with tethering dogs for long periods as it can cause distress and restrict natural behaviours but this in itself is not illegal providing that their needs are being met.”

Meg was signed over shortly afterward coming into RSPCA care and has been rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Lewis had pleaded guilty, that Meg had been moved to the shed following complaints about her continuously howling where she had been previously tethered near to a public footpath, that he had animals all his life and a disqualification would have a real impact on him.

However, the court remarked that he had previous animal cruelty convictions which were an aggravating factor.

Lewis was first prosecuted in 2016 when York magistrates heard how he kept 60 animals living in filthy, squalid and cramped conditions in former agricultural buildings in Barlby.

On that occasion he admitted neglect offences in relations to about 30 of the animals, mostly poultry and rabbits, and was banned from keeping caged animals for 10 years and ordered to do a 12-week curfew.

Three months after he appeared in court, police and an RSPCA inspector found two ferrets at his house in what the RSPCA’s prosecuting solicitor Phil Brown called “frankly appalling” conditions. They had no water, they were kept with piles of faeces and dirty bedding and three rotting rabbit carcasses.

Lewis was again taken to court and this time admitted breaching the 10-year animal ban, and failure to care for animals.

He received a second 10-year animal ban, preventing him having animals kept in cages.

But in December 2018, the RSPCA found Meg with the untreated wound round her neck.

At each of his three hearings, he claimed through his solicitors that the animals belonged to his son, claims that are not accepted by the RSPCA.

Sentencing (February 2019): 24-week prison sentence, suspended for two years; total of £415 costs and charges. Banned indefinitely from owning or having any part in the care of any animal of any species. A deprivation order was placed on any other animals in his care, including a number of dogs, cats, poultry, sheep, cows and pigs.

Yorkshire Post
York Press
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York Press

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

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.

One of the dogs mistreated by irresponsible Heather Stanton

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

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In April 2019 Stanton’s appeal against her five-year disqualification order was rejected.