#TheList Andrew John Rooney, born c. 1973, of 26 Mayfield Avenue, Lancaster LA1 2NY – found with two dogs, a cat, a budgie, a hamster and a guinea pig in breach of a 1997 ban on keeping animals.
Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney admitted breaching the lifelong disqualification between January 17, 2016, and July 17, 2018, by keeping two dogs, known as Shadow and Max, a cat known as Magic, alongside a bird, hamster and guinea pig.
Rooney pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to one of the dogs, a Labrador, by failing to seek adequate veterinary treatment for her skin condition between February and April 27, 2018.
Sentencing: 14 -week jail term, suspended for two years; rehabilitation activity requirement; 150 hours of unpaid work. Total of £615 costs and charges.
#TheList Anna Marie Sykes of Crabtree Drive, Malton YO17 7FQ and daughter Carly Marie Sykes, born 07/07/1994, of Dairy Way, Malton YO17 9FA – allowed their elderly Labrador to become emaciated.
Anna and Carly Sykes both pleaded guilty to causing black Labrador Bailey (pictured) unnecessary suffering and to failing to investigate the cause of his poor body condition.
Bailey, who is said to be around 10/11 years old, was discovered, apparently abandoned, outside Anna Sykes’s property by the local authority who called the RSPCA. On attendance, inspectors found a dog that was so thin all of his bones were visible through his skin. He weighed almost half of what he should have done.
Bailey wolfed down any food put in front of him and after a fortnight on a normal diet, his weight had increased by a third.
The court heard that Carly Sykes was supposed to be looking after Bailey for her mother who had moved into a property where dogs were not allowed. She claimed in court that Bailey rejected all food put in front of him and she believed he was pining for her mother.
The RSPCA had asked magistrates to ban the pair from caring for dogs, but magistrates declined.
They said because the daughter had another dog that was apparently healthy, she clearly could care for dogs properly and the mother had not had day-to-day care of Bailey..
Sentencing: Each woman was fined £200 and ordered to pay £150 prosecution costs and a £30 statutory surcharge.
#TheList Kirsty Hamilton, born c. 1984, of 15 Martin Street, Bury BL9 7SF – left an emaciated Arab mare with a severe hoof infection
Hamilton pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to meet the needs of Arab mare Blossom, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA was contacted by a member of the public who was concerned about Blossom, kept at stables at Nook Farm, Nook Lane, Tyldesely, Astley. On investigating, the mare’s bodyweight was rated one, the lowest on a scale of one to nine, and a vet found she had a bad case of thrush in all her hooves.
Inspector Danni Jennings, said: “The horse was clearly in an emaciated state and had other problems which had not been dealt with such as overgrown teeth.
“The infection in her hooves was awful and was caused by her standing in faeces in a dark and damp stable block for a long period of time.”
In mitigation the court heard that Hamilton had personal problems and was pregnant.
Blossom was taken for treatment and is now in the care of the charity.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; curfew order; total of £1,585 costs and charges. Banned from keeping equines for just one year.
#TheList Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, born 24/01/1995, of George Street, Atherton, Wigan M46 and brother John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, born c. 1994, of Bolton Road, Atherton, Wigan M46 – allowed a pack of neglected ponies to roam on an industrial estate
In a prosecution brought by the RSPCA brother and sister Aithne and John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, whose mother is convicted horse abuser Lorraine Ashurst, pleaded guilty to a string of cruelty offences.
Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy admitted seven offences related to the care of seven Welsh-type ponies while her brother pleaded guilty to four charges involving looking after the same animals.
A grey mare was found by RSPCA inspectors with her feet in terrible condition. The animal was lame from severely overgrown hooves, had an abscess and suffered from chronic laminitis.
Five of the ponies were also not protected from pain and suffering because a farrier was not employed to look after their hooves.
The seven animals were also not provided with a suitable living environment.
John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, who has a previous conviction for horse cruelty, admitted failing to provide suitable accommodation for the ponies, not providing them with daily care and supervision to prevent harm coming to them, neglecting the grey mare and not getting a farrier for two grey mares.
Most of the animals were pregnant and one sadly died from complications giving birth after the RSPCA had rescued them.
Animal welfare inspectors found the terrified creatures causing chaos at a glass manufacturer’s site in Hindley after escaping from their grazing grounds.
They had also crossed a main road streaming with traffic during their wanderings.
RSPCA inspector Alison Fletcher said: “This case highlights the need for responsible equine ownership. Horses need to be contained in a suitable and secure environment.
“There have been a lot of problems with straying horses in Wigan over the years and it causes a risk to the animals and to people.
“The ponies had got off the land where they were originally being kept, gone down a main road and ended up on an industrial estate. It was extremely dangerous for them and they were very fearful.
“This case also highlights the basic needs horses have, like regular foot trimming. If this doesn’t happen it can cause them immense suffering.
“You can’t just have a pet horse in a field. The costs of looking after them are extremely high and people need to think through what they are going to need before they take on an equine.”
The animals were so frightened they had to be sedated for inspectors’ safety during the operation to remove them on February 2, a day after the welfare charity was called about them.
Defending Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, Paul Blanchard said ownership of the horses had been transferred to her from other family members in December 2017 and she had to take responsibility for what subsequently happened to them.
Peter Leather, representing John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, said his client admitted neglecting the ponies after being tasked with maintaining the fences and keeping their enclosure secure as well as feeding them hay each day.
Sentencing: John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy – 120 hours of unpaid work; £2,400 costs plus £85 victim surcharge Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy – 70 hours of unpaid work; £1,200 costs plus £85 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping horses for two years and deprivation orders were made to take the six surviving ponies and their foals away from the Ashurst-O’Shaughnessys.
#TheList Ashley Cooper, born c. 1967, and Katy Gordon, born c. 1985, both of 54 Ronksley Road, Sheffield S5 0HF – failed to treat their crossbreed dog’s painful skin condition
The RSPCA first contacted Ashley Cooper and Katy Gordon about their cross-breed dog, Sasha, in 2016, after concerns were raised about her welfare and skin condition.
Prosecutor Andy Cash said the couple initially heeded the RSPCA’s advice and took her to the vet, which led to her condition improving.
But in September 2018, the charity were contacted about Sasha’s welfare once again.
“She was [found to be] very low in weight, and her skin condition was frankly appalling…her skin was pustulating,” said Mr Cash, adding: “It’s the Society’s case that she was suffering for a considerable amount of time.”
He added: “Mr Cooper signed the dog over to the Society straight away, and with proper care, the dog has made a full recovery.”
When interviewed, Cooper and Gordon both admitted responsibility for Sasha, and described how they could not afford to take her to the vets, so attempted to treat her condition with products they had bought instead.
“There would have been all sort of alternatives available to them [to help with veterinary care], as I’m sure you will understand,” Mr Cash told the magistrates.
Mr Cash said the couple also owned cats and a Chihuahua dog; and said that while their cats were found to have fleas, there was no evidence of them being mistreated.
As a result, he asked for them to be banned from owning dogs specifically, which would allow them to keep their cats.
Cooper and Gordon were not represented in court.
When asked if there was anything she would like the magistrates to take into consideration when passing sentence, Gordon said: “I’m really, really sorry.”
To the same question, Cooper replied: “I’m really, really sorry about what’s happened to Sasha. We have a disabled daughter and the Chihuahua is hers. She suffers from learning difficulties, and it’s going to be hard for her to understand where the dog has gone.”
Sentencing: Katy Gordon – 40 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement Ashley Cooper – 60 hours of unpaid work.
Each was ordered to pay £185 in costs and banned from owning dogs for five years.
#TheList Kathryn Elizabeth Harpin, born 01/01/tbc, of George-a-Green Road, Wakefield WF2 – left poorly 10-year-old cocker spaniel to suffer for at least five days in his bed when he was unable to move
Kathryn Harpin pleaded guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a cocker spaniel called Humphrey.
The court heard that the RSPCA became involved in May 2018 when a member of the public contacted the charity with concerns about the dog’s welfare.
When RSPCA inspector Jenny Bethel visited Harpin’s address, she found 10-year-old Humphrey lying in his dog bed unable to move.
“He was in a very bad way,” said Inspector Bethel. “What struck me straightaway was how lethargic he was, he didn’t respond to anything and was clearly too ill to stand.”
Inspector Bethel took Humphrey to a vet, where examination showed he was underweight – weighing 16kg instead of the 23kg he should have weighed – as well as being covered in fleas. Blood tests showed he was anaemic.
“He also had severe dental problems and some of his teeth had completely worn down leaving pulp exposed,” said Inspector Bethel.
“We were shocked to see that he had a large ulcer on his backend which was infected, and as he’d been bedridden for at least five days he’d also developed a large and infected pressure sore on his left leg.
“Humphrey was clearly suffering and he was close to death. The vet believed the level of weight loss, muscle wastage and size of the ulcers had taken a significant time to develop, and they believed he had been lying in his bed with no movement for five days, just suffering.
“His prognosis was poor, and the vet made the difficult decision to put him to sleep as it was the most humane thing for Humphrey, who was in so much pain and discomfort.”
The court heard in mitigation that Harpin had no previous criminal record, that she was suffering from stress at the time of the offence and that she regretted what happened to Humphrey, who she had owned since a pup.
Sentence: 12-month community order to include 40 hours of unpaid work, costs of £300 and an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs for 12 months.
#TheList Martin Veysey, born c. 1955, of 6 Albert Court, Albert Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7ET – breached a previous life ban on keeping animals imposed on him in 2011
Veysey pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act and the Cattle Identification Regulations on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Taunton Crown Court.
Veysey was banned for life from keeping animals in 2011 after he was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide appropriate care for his animals.
The latest prosecution was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and related to the purchase, transport and ownership of cattle obtained from markets in the South West.
Charges also related to a pony and an American bulldog owned by Veysey.
Veysey was also found guilty for failing to report and record the movements of cattle and failing to surrender the passports of cattle to Defra’s British Cattle Movement Service.
The court heard that the prosecution followed an investigation by Trading Standards officers.
Officers gathered intelligence from several sources including from members of the public, who responded to adverts he had placed to sell animals, as well as the RSPCA, livestock auctioneers and landowners who had witnessed his involvement with animals.
In sentencing Veysey, the judge told him that ‘the legislation is intended to protect animals from cowboys like you’ and warned him any further breaches would mean that he would go to prison.
Sentencing: eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. Costs of £2,115.
#TheList Julian A Bradbury, born c. 1971, of Somerville House, Waterson Croft, Solihull B37 6TY – left dogs to die in a baking car and buried their bodies in a field
Julian Bradbury admitted causing unnecessary suffering to West Highland Terriers Ted and Poppy after leaving them inside his car for nearly 80 minutes in 26C temperatures. The incident took place on the day of an England World Cup game.
Bradbury said he simply forgot the “family members” were in the car.
CCTV footage shown during the court hearing showed Bradbury, wearing an England football shirt, returning to his vehicle at 4.42pm – some 78 minutes after parking up near his home.
One of the dogs appeared limp and the other panted and gasped for air, the court heard.
Bradbury grabbed both pets before attempting to resuscitate and give mouth-to-mouth to the dog, which appeared motionless.
It was claimed the lorry driver put both dogs in the bath but they died of severe hypothermia.
At 10.25pm that evening, Bradbury was seen leaving the block of flats where he lived with both terriers wrapped in a bundle.
During an interview, he said he was taking their bodies to a garage.
He told the investigation he buried the dogs in a nearby field the next day.
The bodies were dug up as part of an RSPCA probe triggered when CCTV footage was reviewed by council officials looking into complaints of dog fouling in the flats.
Rafe Turner, prosecuting, explained how body temperatures of dogs reaching 43 degrees or more lead to multiple organ failure and death.
“The defendant was ultimately interviewed and, it’s fair to say, he was forthcoming,” Mr Turner said.
“He didn’t give an explanation yet both dogs were left for 78 minutes.
“He mentioned it wasn’t his normal routine and he had difficulty with his children, saying he thought it had been half-an-hour.
“He simply said: ‘I forgot’ and while he was remorseful and clearly upset, he didn’t offer an explanation.
“Considering a vets was close by, why didn’t he take dogs for further treatment? It would have been a few minutes in the car at most.
“But he didn’t and accepted he later wrapped up the dogs and had taken them to a garage to bury them.”
Summing up, District Judge Ian Strongman told Bradbury: “I accept you didn’t deliberately cause this suffering to the dogs.
“Your history of care of dogs is such that you just forgot they were there.
“It was a very hot day. The car would have been extremely hot when you first got in prior to collecting your son.
“The dogs would have been distressed by the car, yet you were stupid enough to leave them for over an hour.
“You showed an awfully low level of care to the animals.”
RSPCA inspector Herchy Boal, who investigated the case, said: “These dogs were left in the full view of the sun during the heat wave for one hour and 18 minutes so they must have suffered a long and lingering decline.
“It was the day when England played Croatia in a World Cup match in the evening and people will, I am sure, recall it was very hot.
“The RSPCA’s annual campaign ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ states how you should never leave your dog in a parked car for even a few minutes as they become dangerously hot very rapidly so to leave them for such a long period is terrible.
“A vet said these dogs would have started suffering within a few minutes and their suffering would have been protracted.”
Sentencing: total of £885 fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList backyard breeder and serial animal abuser Amarpal Singh, born c. 1986, of 6 Banks Way, Manor Park, Newham, London E12 5NZ – neglected 23 dogs and puppies in home reeking of animal urine and faeces.
Amarpal Singh forced seven alapaha bulldogs and 16 puppies to live in such sickening conditions they became malnourished and underweight.
One of the dogs had to have her tail amputated.
Notorious greeder Singh had already been issued with an improvement notice in 2015, when Newham Animal Welfare Services and police officers found three dogs living in filthy conditions in his back garden.
Singh said he’d clear up the area, and the dogs were taken away.
However when officers visited his home again in November 2017 they found the 23 animals squeezed into the house which stunk of urine and faeces.
Pc Holly Hoare, who led the investigation, said: “After seeing the conditions the dogs were living in, I wouldn’t want any dogs to be living in this way ever again.
“When we went to the address, the puppies were very quiet and unable to interact with us. A number of the dogs were showing signs of diarrhoea and there was little evidence of water or food.”
Pc Hoare added: “They were all living in extremely poor conditions, with excrement that had not be cleared up in a number of days. Some of the dogs were in cages that were too small for them and it was distressing to see them in such a poor state of health.”
Sentencing: 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £1,360 costs and charges. Banned from dealing in, owning or keeping dogs for just two years (expires December 2020).