#TheList puppy dealer Julie Michelle Ward, born 11/04/1983, previously of 26 Douglas Road, Leigh, Greater Manchester WN7 5HG and currently of Greenacres travellers site on Slapton Road, Little Billington, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9BP
Julie Ward was convicted of animal cruelty offences in September 2016 alongside husband Martin Ward and brother-in-law Patrick Oliver Ward after a dead pet was found at a home they were using as a puppy farm. None of the gang showed up for sentencing and warrants were issued for their arrest
In May 2018 Patrick Ward was jailed for 22 weeks and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
The Wards sold the puppies from addresses on Douglas Road and Windermere Road, in Leigh, Wigan.
The RSPCA launched an investigation into the trio after eight people complained they received sick puppies.
Customers said the animals soon became ill after they arrived home.
Four of the pets died suddenly or were so poorly vets decided to put them down to end their suffering.
Back in April 2015 Ward sold a puppy when she was too young to leave her mother.
She also failed to provide a malti-poo with treatment for an ear mite infestation in November 2015, while in February 2016 she failed to provide a black and white puppy with treatment for parvovirus.
Inspector Pippa Boyd, who led the case, said: “We believe Ward, and two other people who were part of the operation and have been dealt with by the courts previously, were importing puppies and then selling them on from two addresses in Leigh.
“When we joined police to execute two warrants at the properties in February 2016 we found a number of dogs and other evidence.
“At one address – in Windermere Road – we found a number of phones labelled with different dog breeds.
“At the other – in Douglas Road – we found three dogs, one with an untreated broken pelvis, and the body of a dead Jack Russell terrier left in a kennel.”
Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail, £150 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.
#TheList Nisar Hussain, born 12/10/1984, formerly of 70 Morgan Road, Sheffield S5 8QT and more recently 203 Emerson Crescent, Sheffield S5 7SY – left a dog to starve to death in his back yard
Nisar Hussain is finally behind bars – more than four years after first appearing in court after evading capture.
Hussain, who has links to St David’s in Pembrokeshire, Wales, pleaded guilty to two offences relating to a Bully Kutta dog called Bella in August 2016.
The case was adjourned for sentencing but he didn’t show up and a warrant had been out for his arrest since.
RSPCA chief inspector Lynsey Harris said: “It has been almost four years since Hussain failed to appear for sentencing in relation to what happened to this dog, the previous September.
“Bella’s body was discovered in the backyard of Hussain’s then Sheffield address (his foreign-born wife and mother of his children, Saiqa Nisar, still lives there) by the dog warden, who had been called the previous night under the guise that Hussain had taken the dog in as a stray.
“She was emaciated, covered in dirt, her face was in a pool of vomit and she was surrounded by mud, faeces and a large number of dog biscuits.
“However several witnesses, including myself, had seen the dog at the property going back to August 10 tethered in the yard, and had given advice on her care.”
Bully Kutta are a very large breed originating in Pakistan and not commonly kept in the UK.
Nisar Hussain was implicated in a 2013 high-profile ‘crash for cash’ case alongside others, but was ultimately acquitted
Sentencing: jailed for 18 weeks with a further 14 days for non-RSPCA related matters, plus 21 days for failing to surrender but to run concurrently. Ordered to pay £615 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Michael Patrick Price, born 07/05/1991, of 24 Lime Tree Avenue, Malton YO17 7BZ, and partner Shannon Hanrahan (aka Shannon Price) born 04/06/1993, of Kidacre Park travellers site, Kidacre Street, Leeds LS10 1BD – abandoned several animals at Appleby Horse Fair
RSPCA inspectors were alerted after a passer-by saw that a pony had been left tethered beside the A685 just outside of Kirkby Stephen while two dogs were running loose near to two empty kennels.
None of the animals were being supervised or looked after, and the pony had no access to drinking water. Another dog – found in a cage without bedding – had no clean drinking water.
RSPCA inspector Claire Little said: “On Friday 31st May, whilst on duty in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, my colleague and I received a request from the police to help with some animals.
“As we arrived at the location I saw a brindle lurcher-type dog and what appeared to be a collie-type dog amongst the traffic and the police were trying to catch them.
“We pulled over and I managed to secure the dogs and get them into our van for safekeeping whilst we approached the police officers.
“It was explained to us that the owners of the dogs were believed to be the occupants of a caravan on the side of the road and that they were in Bradford.
“The dogs were wearing collars but there was no tethering equipment of any kind and a small caged area measuring approximately 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft with no lid was the only possible living area I could see for them. There was no shelter available for the cage.
“The police were concerned regarding some birds in cages they had seen inside a van next to the caravan so my colleague went to look at those – they turned out to be wild goldfinches.
“I then saw a small cream Lhasa Apso-type dog that appeared young, inside a metal cage at the side of the road. The cage had a lid that was secured but there was no shelter and the dog was laying on wet grass with no access to water. As the weather was wet I was concerned about the dog as they appeared to be shivering.
“A grey shetland pony tethered with a length of blue nylon rope tied around their neck was nearby. The rope was so tight that I couldn’t get my finger between the rope and the neck and I was concerned that this may start to injure the pony if they remained in this situation. The rope was tied to a nearby branch of a hedge that was quite flimsy. The pony’s hooves appeared overgrown.
“The police took the three dogs and pony into possession and placed them in RSPCA care.”
Michael Patrick Price admitted not ensuring the needs of the pony were met, and the same charge for a lurcher dog and a collie cross.
He also admitted having two goldfinches.
His co-accused Shannon Hanrahan admitted failing to ensure the proper care of the caged dog, and illegally having the two goldfinches.
A deprivation order was placed on the pony and two dogs who will now pass into RSPCA care and be rehomed. The birds were released back into the wild.
Sentencing: Price was given 60 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £690. He was banned from owning or keeping any animal for four years.
Hanrahan was given a 14-day curfew at an address in Byker, Newcastle. She must pay also £250 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.
Lindi Meyer, prosecuting, said the defendant lived with Rocco and his partner Hilson. Both accepted responsibility for the pet.
The RSPCA and police went to the house on September 2, 2019, after reports of an injured dog. Initially the pair did not answer but Hilson let them in just as police were about to force entry.
The dog had obvious leg and head injuries, said the prosecutor.
Hilson said Rocco had hurt his leg trying to get over a gate almost a month before. She confirmed he had not seen a vet.
“There was a strong smell of ammonia and faeces on the floor,” added Ms Meyer.
A police officer said the injured state of the dog was ‘heartbreaking’ and he had never seen such a badly injured animal before.
Rocco had multiple cuts, dislocated femur, swelling, two large head wounds that were so severe vets were unable to examine his right eye, a fractured tooth, cheek, three fractured ribs, and a fracture to the right hock which was several weeks old and so severe the leg had to be amputated.
There were stains on the carpets which Hilson said Rocco had left after he injured his head trying to escape from his cage.
Dolling said the injury to Rocco’s leg happened about one and a half months before when he tried to jump over a door. Both denied mistreating him and Dolling said he didn’t take him for treatment because he thought the vet might think he had beaten him. He couldn’t explain the fracture to the dog’s eye and denied beating him. He said he thought the animal would die without vet attention.
Texts between the two revealed more of what really happened to the dog.
Hilson demanded to know what had happened to Rocco’s face. Dolling replied: “I just went mad on him earlier. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m f****d.”
Hilson said the dog was ‘only a baby’ and hadn’t done anything to deserve such treatment.
Dolling answered: “You know what I get. I get what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I’m a nasty c**t.”
Hilson said there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. Dolling now accepted responsibility for what he had done.
Nobody was present at the time Dolling injured the dog and the court was not told what triggered his violence. A vet found the injuries had been sustained by blunt force trauma on at least two occasions. They would have caused considerable pain for Rocco for at least six weeks. The skull fracture was caused by being struck with a ‘heavy linear object’ not consistent with Dolling’s explanation about the door. Injuries to the ribs were caused by kicks, stamps, or throwing against an object, said the vet.
Ms Meyer said Dolling’s actions had been ‘deliberate, gratuitous and caused suffering and pain on a number of occasions’. There had been prolonged neglect over months and no vet treatment despite both being aware of the injuries.
The court was played a video of Rocco in the care of the RSPCA, running and chasing a ball. “He’s doing really well,” after learning to walk again, said the prosecutor.
Hilson has yet to sign him over to the RSPCA’s care and has stated she wants him back.
Ben Darby, defending, said Dolling accepted full responsibility for the injuries and was ‘tearful’ and sorry for what he had done. He wanted help for his anger management issues and was motivated to change.
“These are pretty horrendous offences,” said Mr Darby. But he said Dolling had held his hands up and admitted his crime, even though nobody saw him cause the injuries and for that he should be given credit.
Hilson, who did not cause injuries to Rocco, admits a lesser charge under the Animal Welfare Act. She will be sentenced at a later date.
Sentencing: suspended four-month jail sentence. He was told to do up to 10 days anger management with probation and 60 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from keeping all animals for life but can appeal after just five years.
Natasha Rose Hilson, born 10/08/1994, also of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS, has been sentenced for failing to seek veterinary care for Rocco while he was suffering from his injuries.
She must carry out 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 240 hours’ unpaid work.
She was also disqualified from owning any animal for 15 years, with no application to lift this for five years, and must pay £200 costs.
#TheList greyhound trainer Chris Sillars, based in the West of Scotland (further info to follow)
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has banned trainer Chris Sillars from racing after neglecting a dog so badly she had to be euthanised. A legal prosecution case may now follow.
A kennel inspector who discovered the emaciated black greyhound bitch, Dudleys Forever, said it was “the worst condition of a greyhound I have seen”.
The dog, who originally raced in Ireland before being exported to Scotland, weighed just over 16kg, with a body score of 1/5, and was put down by a vet a few hours later.
An inquiry by the disciplinary committee of the GBGB was held in December 2019 and found that Sillars had breached animal welfare rules.
A GBGB report said a steward at Glasgow’s Shawfield Stadium, Alex McTaggart, made a routine visit to Sillars’ kennels on 2 September 2019. Mr McTaggart reported that one kennel block had nine greyhounds and there were four greyhounds in another non-registered block previously deemed unusable.
The GBGB’s report said: “One of these dogs, Dudleys Forever, a black bitch that had last raced at Shawfield on 24 November 2018, was in such poor condition that Mr McTaggart described it as ‘the worst condition of a greyhound I have seen’.
Video evidence was presented to the committee. Mr McTaggart said that in his opinion this was a matter of animal cruelty.
“Mr McTaggart said that on the same afternoon as his visit, he had spoken by telephone to Mr Sillars who had informed him that Dudleys Forever was eating well, and had been to the vet two months previously. Mr McTaggart told Mr Sillars that the bitch needed to see a vet as a matter of urgency.
The report continued: “Mr Sillars complied and took the greyhound to Abbey Vet Group later that day. The veterinary report was given in evidence and stated that the bitch weighed 16.3 kg with a body condition score of 1/5. Further tests were not undertaken, and the bitch was euthanased.”
The committee was told that the following day McTaggart met Sillars who accepted it was not true that Dudleys Forever had been seen by a vet recently. The dog had last been seen by a vet on 2 December 2018 – 10 months earlier.
The GBGB’s disciplinary committee viewed this as “a clear case of animal abuse” and moved to ban Sillars from racing.
The GBGB report concluded: “The distressing video clip endorsed the opinion of a highly experienced stipendiary steward that this was the worst condition of a greyhound he had ever seen, and the committee concurred. The committee deplored the neglect of this greyhound and concluded that Mr Sillars had treated the greyhound with cruelty and in such a manner as to cause the greyhound unnecessary suffering.
“The deliberate decision of Mr Sillars not to seek veterinary attention was wholly unacceptable. The committee considered the offence to be a prima facie breach of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and urged the GBGB to send the details of the case to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh.”
Say No To Greyhound Racing In Scotland said: “The treatment of racing greyhounds in Scotland is absolutely appalling and this trainer must be prosecuted and feel the full force of the law. We would also like to see criminal prosecutions where greyhounds are doped with Class A and human prescription drugs.
“To date there have been no prosecutions in Scotland with 14 GBGB confirmed doping cases in the last two years at Shawfield track in Glasgow which includes five for cocaine. We will continue to campaign for as long as it takes to shut this disgraceful industry down in Scotland.”
A spokesperson for GBGB, said: “We have the highest expectations of welfare and care in our sport so there is no place in it for trainers like Mr Sillars. This was a clear case of animal neglect and cruelty and the independent disciplinary committee has rightly decided to remove Mr Sillars’ licence, ensuring that he is never allowed to participate in our sport again.”
Reporters from The Ferret asked to see the video evidence presented to GBGB but it declined to release it.
#TheList Joseph Thomas, born 19/11/1973, of 28A Crouch Hill, Haringey, London N4 4AU: battered his Staffordshire Bull Terrier on multiple occasions, leaving him with two detached retina and partially sighted
Thomas was found guilty of one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and to a second charge of failing in his duty as person responsible for animal welfare.
The court heard how Thomas terrorised the dog, Marley, who is two or three years old, over a two-year period, with attacks that included punching the dog, whipping him with a steel lead and beating him with a branch.
The court heard how, on January 15, 2019, a woman and her friend were walking on the Parkland Walk, near Ashmount School, when they witnessed Thomas “forcefully hitting the dog with a heavy branch” about 20 times.
Prosecutor Mark Jones explained that soon after Thomas got Marley in 2017, a neighbour reported witnessing him “pulling the dog off the ground” by his lead about five times so that he was “being caused to choke and thrashing around in the air”.
The court heard Thomas then hit Marley about 15 times with the lead, and that the neighbour would hear “harrowing screaming from the dog” coming from inside his flat.
On another occasion a Tesco employee saw Thomas punching the animal in the ribs. Separately, a further witness saw him strike the dog four times in the ribs area.
They remonstrated with him and he said: “It’s nothing to do with you,” to which they replied: “It’s got something to do with me, we’re in a public space.”
Officer seized Marley off Thomas on April 26, 2019
Sentencing Thomas, Dr Joan Scanlon cited his “absence of remorse”, ongoing denial of guilt and the “severe distress” his attacks caused for witnesses, as reasons for sending him to prison.
Sentencing: a total of 26 weeks in jail. Victim surcharge of £115. Indefinite disqualification on owning animals with no right of appeal for five years.
#TheList Carolyn Ashton, born 14/03/1971, of 40 Otley Walk, Sheffield S6 3PX – kicked and dragged a terrified dog leaving him frightened and crying
Ashton admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog after she was caught kicking and dragging him in the street.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how Ashton was seen mistreating the dog near McDonald’s restaurant, on Penistone Road, Sheffield.
Rob Coyne, prosecuting, said: “On July 20, in the early hours of the morning, police were called to an incident at McDonald’s on Penistone Road, Sheffield, to assist security with an aggressive female who was this defendant.
“The defendant was seen by others repeatedly kicking a dog which was with her and she was described as drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner.
“The dog was seized from the defendant and appeared in poor condition and was frightened and crying.”
Mr Coyne added the dog was examined by a veterinary surgeon and the dog was found to be in a poor condition covered in fleas and the vet stated the dog’s condition was among the worst cases for fleas he had ever seen.
Ashton pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by kicking and dragging the dog by his lead and admitted a further count of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by failing to obtain veterinary care and treatment.
She also pleaded guilty to being drunk-and-disorderly in a pubic place outside McDonald’s.
Sentencing: community order to last until September 2020, with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Fined £25 and ordered to pay £90 victim surcharge and £85 costs. It is not known if she was banned from keeping animals or if the dog was returned to her.