#TheList Richard Crozier of Annsville, Newry BT34 1AB – for a catalogue of neglect towards five adult dogs, four dependant pups and four ferrets in his care.
A case was brought against Crozier by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council following a complaint about the condition of animals living at his home.
When council animal welfare officers visited Crozier’s home on March 4, 2016 they found the conditions in which the animals were being kept to be “appalling”.
Sadly, a lurcher-type dog had already died. The dog, who was wearing a muzzle, was chained to a kennel. He had several open wounds on his legs and was skeletal. A post mortem found that the dog was severely emaciated.
The animals were all deemed to be suffering and were taken into the possession of the council.
In court, Crozier pleaded guilty to all four charges which were brought by the council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
Sentencing: Total fines of £1000. Disqualified from keeping animals for just five years (expires November 2023).
#TheList Keith Lewis, born c. 1948, of Barlby, North Yorkshire – admitted neglect offences in relation to 30 of the 60 animals he kept in filthy conditions
The RSPCA first prosecuted Keith Lewis when they found 60 animals living in “filthy, squalid and cramped conditions” at his home in former agricultural buildings in the North Yorkshire village of Barlby, near Selby.
After Lewis admitted neglect offences in relation to about 30 of the animals, mostly poultry and rabbits, one bench of magistrates banned him on May 2016 from keeping caged and other animals for ten years and ordered him to do a 12-week curfew.
Three months later on August 25, 2016, police and an RSPCA inspector found two ferrets at Lewis’ house in appalling conditions with no water, piles of faeces and dirty bedding and three rotting rabbit carcasses.
Lewis pleaded guilty to breaching an animal ban and failure to care for animals.
A different bench of magistrates ordered him to do a community order with two days’ rehabilitative activities.
They heard he is currently doing a different community order.
For Lewis, Steve Munro said: “This was not a deliberate attempt to avoid the order at all.”
The ferrets were the last of about eight that Lewis’ young son had found in a tree.
Lewis had initially refused to let him keep them but had then given in and allowed them onto the premises.
“He thinks the world of his son. His son is his life,” said the solicitor.
The ferrets were only being kept until they could be sold.
Mr Brown told magistrates Lewis had used a similar mitigation in his earlier case.
Sentencing: Costs. Rehabilitation activity. Second ten-year animal ban (total 20 years).
#TheList Suzanna Falconer, born 1973, and Raymond Spires, born c. 1990, of Albert Avenue, West Hull HU3, for neglecting banned breed dog; dog put to sleep on BSL grounds; Falconer in breach of animal ban for starving 13 pet rats to death.
Tia had to be put to sleep after RSPCA inspectors found her at the home where Suzanna Falconer lived with her partner Raymond Spires.
The dog was suffering from a skin condition and was later found to be a pit bull, a breed banned in the UK.
Falconer, who was banned from keeping animals for five years in 2012 after starving 13 rats to death, pleaded guilty to breaching her disqualification order and failing to meet Tia’s needs.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA takes breaches of disqualification orders very seriously.
“Unfortunately, in this case, it is clear that no lessons had been learnt by Falconer, despite a disqualification from keeping animals.
“She not only breached the terms of the court order but sadly went on to fail to give Tia the care she needed.”
Spires also pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of Tia and aiding and abetting the breach of Falconer’s disqualification order.
Falconer was originally banned from keeping animals for five years after neglecting a rabbit called Bugsy, three ferrets and 13 rats and for causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog at her previous home in Downing Grove, east Hull.
The rats were found dead in cages in the shed having been starved to death.
The hedgehog had been kept in captivity and was emaciated.
Falconer had not fed the ferrets properly or protected them from pain, injury, disease and suffering.
RSPCA inspectors and police raided Gill’s house again in September 2013 where they found 20 fish, a corn snake, two Staffordshire bull terriers called Zane and Patch, two terriers called Dufus and Meg, two cats and six kittens.
Dufus and Meg were confined to the kitchen and had been eating out of the bin.
Zane and Patch were found in the rubbish-strewn garden, where there was broken glass jars, rusty metal tins and exposed metal chair springs.
Sentencing: Falconer – eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, £350 costs, £80 victim surcharge. Spires – 80 hours of unpaid work, £350 costs and £60 victim surcharge. Both were banned from keeping animals for seven years (expires November 2021) .
#TheList repeat offender Andrew Gill, born c. 1964, of 34 Downing Grove, Hull HU9 3SY – left his four dogs without access to food, water or bedding; breached disqualification order.
Gill was banned, alongside former partner Suzanna Falconer, from keeping animals in 2012 for causing unnecessary suffering to 13 rats, which died of starvation, failing to meet the welfare needs of three ferrets and a rabbit and causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog.
RSPCA inspector Hannah Bryer said: “Throughout the duration of the previous proceedings, Mr Gill was given advice, assistance and warning notices to improve the welfare of his remaining animals.
“After he was banned, he failed to follow the court order and continued keeping animals.
“Mr Gill has proved he is unable to care for animals properly, even when given extensive guidance.
“He has shown a complete disregard for the court order and to the wellbeing of his pets.”
RSPCA inspectors and police raided Gill’s home in September 2012. When they entered the property, he said: “You’re not taking my pets, you are not touching the snake or the fish, no way.”
Inside, they found 20 fish, a corn snake, two Staffordshire bull terriers called Zane and Patch, two terriers called Dufus and Meg, two cats and six kittens.
Miss Bryer said Dufus and Meg were confined to the kitchen and had been eating out of the bin. Zane and Patch were in the garden, which was littered with rubbish including broken glass jars, rusty metal tins and exposed metal chair springs.
Gill admitted breaching his disqualification order and failing to meet the welfare needs of the dogs.
In 2007, Gill spoke of of his devastation after an arson attack on his shed killed his 300 rats, two rabbits, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and three hedgehogs.
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, 200 hours of unpaid work, £250 costs. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years (expires April 2033).
#TheList Crufts medal winner Rachel Mortimore, born 30/07/1954, of Foxdown House, Taunton TA3 7DY – kept 300 animals including dogs, horses, cats, chickens, ferrets and rabbits in squalor.
Rachel Mortimore admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a hearing in July 2011.
They related to a cat and a dog which were among 300 animals found in squalid conditions at Culmhead’s Foxdown Dog Training Centre in November 2010.
The dog – a Toller retriever – was found with a hole in the side of his face due to an infected abscess in his mouth that had been left untreated.
The cat had an ulcer on her eye that would have “popped” the eye if left untreated.
RSPCA inspectors described the conditions at Mortimore’s dog training centre as ‘filthy, horrible and unbelievable’.
Recorder Michael Parroy QC said that it was clear that Mortimore had far too many animals on the premises to be able to give them proper care.
Mortimore also works as a dog breeder, selling Toller puppies for £750, and has the largest breeding kennels in the country for the breed.
Sentencing: 140 hours of community service; £1,000 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for life but this was later reduced to 18 years on appeal.. Mortimore is allowed to apply to have the ban lifted in nine years from date of conviction, i.e. around July 2020.