#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.