Category Archives: tortoises

Byrness, Northumberland: Lynn Stoker

#TheList breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker, born c. 1957, of Raw Farm House, Byrness Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1TR – jailed for cruelty to more than 100 dogs and puppies

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home
Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home

Stoker was found guilty of 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. Her conviction came after 107 dogs and six puppies were found living in cramped cages and with no fresh drinking water.

She had denied all charges but was found guilty after a four-day trial.

Shocking and distressing footage released by the RSPCA shows dozens of dogs cramped and locked up in cages.

Stoker was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018.

The RSPCA told the court that “not a single dog was in a healthy condition” when they were discovered locked up in cramped cages at Stoker’s home in May 2018.

The animals were suffering from a range of untreated health problems including chronic dental disease, eye infections and hip injuries. Stoker also failed to provide them with sufficient water.

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home
Many of the dogs hadn’t had veterinary treatment in years in some cases and were at an advanced stage of suffering.

Three dogs had a level of dental disease so high it resulted in a fractured jaw, and one of them only had three teeth as all the rest had fallen out because of severe disease.

Some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.

The dog breeder claimed that her pets were never neglected and she had been doing the job for 25 years.

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home

The pets at her home also included two cats and a tortoise.

Sentencing Stoker, district judge Bernard Begley said: “This is a particularly serious type of offence. Significant costs have been incurred.

“I really can’t find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering – some animals were euthanised.

“You have not shown a shred of remorse or contrition.”

Sentencing: jailed for 21 weeks; ordered to pay £50,000. Disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years.

Metro
ChronicleLive

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.

Birkenhead, Merseyside: David Michael O’Toole

#TheList David Michael O’Toole, born c. 1986, of Birkett Rd, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead CH42 4PR – set his dog on his girlfriend’s pet tortoise and sent her videos of the attack

Thug David Michael O'Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend's pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack
Thug David Michael O’Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend’s pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack

O’Toole could be heard shouting “go on, get him,” over and over again as the dog “bit chunks” from the helpless tortoise’s shell.

The owner of the tortoise, Lucy McDonald, was forced to give her pet to a rescue centre after being unable to afford to pay for treatment needed as a result of the attack.

O’Toole pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and to sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication.

Thug David Michael O'Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend's pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack

Hannah Griffiths, prosecuting, told the court: “The victim had been at a family member’s house after a weekend away with the defendant, who is now her former partner.

“While at her family member’s address she received two videos of the defendant goading his dog into going for the defendant’s pet tortoise, which was upside down. In the background he could be heard saying ‘go on, get him’, over and over again.”

The court heard the incident was reported to the police who attended O’Toole’s address. Officers found the tortoise bleeding, and noticed it had chunks of shell missing, and arrested the defendant for animal cruelty.

Ms Griffiths said: “The complainant, in her statement, said she thought the defendant would kill the tortoise and described being extremely scared and upset.”

Liverpool Echo 24/03/2016
Liverpool Echo 18/01/2017 (contains details of sentencing for the animal cruelty offence and further crimes)