Category Archives: ferrets

Walton-on-Thames, Surrey: Joshua Wanless

#TheList career criminal and gang member Joshua Wanless, born c. 1990, of Pankhurst Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 – encouraged a dog to kill a ferret for his own sadistic enjoyment

Sick animal abuser Joshua Wanless of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
Twisted Josh Wanless derived pleasure from seeing helpless animals being killed

Joshua Wanless, who has previous convictions for violence, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, a ferret, by feeding it to a dog and causing it to die, and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by encouraging the dog to attack a ferret.

On January 30, 2019, officers were called to Apple Court Green in Walton after a report that Wanless had forced a dog into a cage with a ferret to kill it.

Officers arrived as Wanless drove into an adjacent road, where they searched his car. In the boot they found a box with a live ferret, a cage covered in blood and a dog with blood on its nose. On the green they also found the ferret that had been killed by the dog minutes beforehand.

Police mugshot of sick animal abuser Joshua Wanless of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
Gangsta type Josh Wanless is well known to Surrey Police

Wildlife & Rural Crime Co-ordinator PC Hollie Iribar who investigated the case alongside PC Josh Parry, said: “This is an abhorrent crime which involved Joshua Wanless antagonising a dog to kill a ferret for no other reason than his own enjoyment.

“He denied the offences at the time and told officers at the scene that the ferret had escaped from its box and been killed by accident, but subsequent investigation of his mobile phone revealed text messages stating his cruel intention beforehand.

“Using dogs to commit crimes in this way is disgusting. We know that crimes such as organised dog fighting are linked to serious criminal networks where it is sadly viewed as a sport. Bringing offenders to justice for such barbaric activity is just another way we can disrupt organised criminals from committing other kinds of serious crime.”

Wanless, whom Walton locals say has killed a dog and may also be responsible for air rifle attacks on cats in the area, also pleaded guilty to two breaches of his Criminal Behaviour Order. The breaches are that he caused alarm or distress to another member of the public and entered an area he was not allowed in.

Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years; 180 hours of unpaid work; costs and charges totalling £200. Banned from owning or keeping all animals for two years.

SurreyLive

Oldham, Greater Manchester: Zoe Allen

#TheList Zoe Elizabeth Pearsall Allen, born 23/10/1972, formerly of Hawley Street, Colne, Lancashire and more recently Henshaw Street in Oldham – left dogs, cats and a ferret behind when she moved out of her home

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham
Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

In total, two dogs, ten cats and a ferret were discovered at Zoe Allen’s house after she moved out – six of the cats and the ferret were dead.

Allen pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to the two dogs and seven of the cats under the Animal Welfare Act*.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Taylor said: “We got a call that Allen had abandoned her animals and I attended.

“There were lots of blue bottle flies in the window of the property, which I know from experience isn’t a good sign.

“I knocked, and was relieved when one of the dogs, Cassey, jumped up at the window, but my relief didn’t last long as she didn’t look in good shape.

“I could hear a second dog – Trixy – barking frantically upstairs and I knew there were some cats in there too.

“I’ll never forget this house as long as I live.”

Thirteen animals were left to starve to death by Zoe Allen, now of Oldham

When housing officers granted access the animals were discovered living amongst clutter, rubbish and their own filth. Initially two cats were found alive along with the bodies of six cats and a ferret.

A further two cats were caught in cat traps in the days following. There were lots of empty food and water bowls. Fleas were visible on both the alive and dead animals.

The animals were seized by police and placed in RSPCA care on veterinary advice.

On examination, the four surviving cats were found to be emaciated. Cassey – a female Jack Russell type dog – was very thin with her ribs, spine, and pelvis all prominent. She had a mass on her eye, an ear condition and a skin condition.

Trixy – another female Jack Russell type dog – was even thinner than Cassey, with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible. She had a skin condition and overgrown nails that had grown into the skin.

All have recovered in RSPCA care and have now been happily rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Allen had to leave the house due to a water burst, rent arrears and problems with her neighbours. Her benefits stopped so she moved to Oldham. The court was told she had “buried her head in the sand”.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with curfew and 20 rehabilitation requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

RSPCA News
ITV News

Clowne, Chesterfield: David Walker

#TheList David Walker, born c. 1988, of no fixed address – smashed and killed a pet ferret with a marble slab and threw another at a fence in front of horrified children.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how David Walker had been babysitting his ex-partner’s children in Clowne when he threw one of the ferrets called Jack and killed another called Joe after he said they had attacked pet guinea pigs.

Prosecuting solicitor Andy Cash, representing the RSPCA, said: “He went on to say he was not thinking and he had acted like an animal and made a conscious decision to kill Joe after he lost control and lost his temper.”

Mr Cash added Walker’s ex had arranged for him to look after the children and their friends but she got a call from him with the children screaming saying the guinea pigs were dead. Walker’s ex returned, according to Mr Cash, and the children said Walker had killed the ferrets and one had been thrown against a fence.

The defendant admitted he had been making drinks and heard screaming and said one of the guinea pigs was dead so he had picked up the ferret Jack and thrown him out of frustration. He added that he lost his temper and grabbed the other ferret Joe and twisted its neck. Walker claimed he did not want Joe to suffer so he put a towel over the ferret’s head and when he realised the animal was still alive he struck Joe with a marble slab.

The court heard Walker’s ex found the pet ferrets in plastic bags in the bin with Jack still breathing but Joe was dead. She stated Walker told her the pet ferrets had killed the guinea pigs and he had killed the ferrets.

Walker pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after the attacks in October 2018.

Karl Meakin, defending, said: “It is an extremely unpleasant sequence of events and one which Mr Walker is deeply ashamed and remorseful for.”

Sentencing: 18 month community order with thinking skills and rehabilitation programmes and 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £485 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.

The Star

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

Newry, County Down: Richard Crozier

#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.

Richard Crozier was banned from keeping animals after pets were found in ‘appalling’ conditions at his home
Richard Crozier was banned from keeping animals after pets were found in ‘appalling’ conditions at his home

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).

Belfast Newsletter

Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire: Dean Rigley

#TheList Dean P Rigley, born c. 1984, of Cotgrave – left a ferret without food or water in a metal cage in his car on the hottest day of the year

Convicted animal abuser Dean Rigley of Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, left a ferret in his car as temperatures soared

Dean Rigley was jailed after his pet ferret died in his car when he left her as temperatures outside reached 40°C inside.

With no water and no fresh air the ferret died of hyperthermia in her metal cage where she was found the next morning.

A vet concluded she would have suffered for hours before dying in Rigley’s Fiesta at a car park in Holgate, Notts.

Rigley admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The court heard the RSPCA were called to an anglers’ car park in Clifton, Nottingham, on July 20, 2016. after a passerby saw the dead ferret in the cage.

Convicted animal abuser Dean Rigley of Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, left a ferret in his car as temperatures soared

Prosecutor Paul Wright said: ‘The ferret was in a wire cage on the front passenger seat. There was no water in the cage. The ferret looked lifeless.

‘It was curled up with no water and nobody was in the vehicle.’

The animal had dried blood around its mouth and nose, a symptom of ‘hypothermia due to overheating’.

Convicted animal abuser Dean Rigley of Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, left a ferret in his car as temperatures soared

When questioned, Rigley said he had been given the ferret only 24 hours before.

Buckley, defending, said: ‘He said to the inspector how sorry he was for what happened. It was largely an accident.

‘At the time, he was not living at a settled address and spent a lot of time sleeping in his car and sofa surfing.

‘He had the ferret for only about a day and was given it by a colleague. He had been given a food bowl, milk and planned to keep it for the long term.

‘He went to stay at a friend’s house and accepts this was the hottest day of the year.

‘His car was in the shade but because it was such a hot day it didn’t afford the animal any protection. When he was relayed the fate of the animal, he was very upset.

‘Everyone is aware of what happens to dogs in hot cars but as far as other animals are concerned, it is by no means obvious.’

Sentencing: six weeks in jail. Ordered to pay a total of £215.

Metro

Kingston Upon Hull: Suzanna Falconer and Raymond Spires

#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.

Photo shows Suzanna Falconer, Raymond Spires and their neglected pitbull Tia, who was put to sleep after being found to be a banned breed.
Suzanna Falconer, Raymond Spires and their neglected pitbull Tia, who was put to sleep after being found to be a banned breed.

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.

Her partner at the time Andrew Gill, was also convicted of the same offences and went on to be banned for a further 20 years after he left his four dogs without food and water or bedding.

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) .

Source article removed.

Kingston upon Hull: Andrew Gill

#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.

Photo of serial animal abuser Andrew Gill from Hull
Andrew Gill celebrates winning The World’s Biggest Knob competition.

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.”

Andy Gill photo

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).

Source article (Hull Daily Mail) removed.

Taunton, Somerset: Rachel Mortimore

#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.

Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor
Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor. Her lifetime ban on keeping animals was later reduced to just 18 years but she can appeal after 9 years.

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.

Daily Mail
BBC News