#TheList Rebecca J Jefferies, born 04/04/1989, previously of Ember Road, Salcombe but has moved to 44 Collapark in Totnes TQ9 5LW – left a pet rabbit to starve to death in his cage
The emaciated body of the rabbit, known as Fudge, was seen dead in his hutch by a neighbour who contacted the RSPCA to raise their concerns.
RSPCA inspector Claire Ryder, who investigated, said: “It’s unacceptably cruel to leave an animal to die a slow and painful death in a cage without the care they need to survive. This rabbit was completely reliant on Rebecca Jefferies and she chose to simply leave him to die.”
The court found that Jefferies had caused unnecessary suffering by failing to provide food, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
The rabbit had also not been provided with basic means to survive, nor kept in appropriate conditions, contrary to Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Inspector Ryder encouraged anyone thinking of getting pet rabbits to carefully research what is needed to ensure they are cared for correctly before making the commitment.
She said: “Many people do not realise how complex rabbits can be to care for, and we see many come into our centres after owners have not provided them with what they need to be kept happy and healthy.
“Owning and caring for rabbits can be great fun and very rewarding, but it’s a big responsibility and a long-term commitment in terms of care and cost.
“We urge anyone thinking of taking on rabbits that they do thorough research about how they need to look after them first and ensure they are able to meet all their welfare needs throughout their lives.”
Sentencing: ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £485. Disqualified from keeping small caged animals for two years.