#TheList Margarette Cooper, born c.1938, and son Norman Cooper, born c. 1963, both of Gilfach Chwith, Bangor Teifi, Llandysul, Ceredigion SA44 4JE – convicted of animal cruelty after dozens of cows died in ‘nightmare scenes’ at their farm
An investigation by Ceredigion Council found a total of 84 cattle had died or had been seriously neglected at the farm run by Margarette and Norman Cooper.
On the farm, the carcasses of dead cows were found decaying alongside surviving cattle. Among those that had survived, some had to be put down following examination due to the seriousness of their health and their suffering.
“The animal health officers involved with this case have never experienced such appalling conditions at any farm in their careers,” said Alun Williams, corporate lead officer for policy and performance at Ceredigion Council.
“Most of the staff are from farming backgrounds, but they faced horrific circumstances in investigating and retrieving the live animals and the carcasses.”
Sentencing: both were given six months in jail, suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £2615 each. Norman Cooper was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Both were disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years, other than their existing four elderly dogs.
#TheList Jordan Booth, born c. 1991, of Pemberton Drive, Meir Heath, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 7JU – allowed his horse to become so underweight he had to be put to sleep
Jordan Booth’s bay thoroughbred-type horse, named Quahadi, was described by RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin as the thinnest she had ever seen. Sadly, despite vets’ efforts to save him the gelding had to be put down to end his suffering.
Booth pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. These were that he failed to investigate the gelding’s weight issues between October and November 2018 and failed to provide adequate hoof care between July 2018 and November 2018. The third charge related to failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a skin problem between 13 November and 18 November 2018.
RSPCA Inspector Melvin attended a field in Coplow Avenue, Tean, in November 2018 after the charity received a call from a concerned member of the public.
Inspector Melvin immediately summoned a vet to assess Quahadi’s condition. The vet found the horse to be emaciated and suffering with an untreated skin condition on his legs. He had also not been provided with adequate hoof care for several months.
Police took possession of Quahadi and he was placed in the RSPCA’s care. Sadly, despite “great efforts” to save him, he collapsed the following day and the vets made the decision to put him down to “end his suffering”.
“I was so sad that Quahadi didn’t pull through, he was a very affectionate and sweet horse,” said Inspector Melvin.
“The only consolation is that he was warm and comfortable in a stable getting plenty of care during his last night, so at least I know he received some love and TLC before he sadly died.”
In mitigation the court heard Booth struggled with the gelding’s weight.
A second pony belonging to Booth was removed from the field by police and was signed into the charity’s care.
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years; 240 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation days. Total of £515 costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for five years.
#TheList Daniel Stasik, born c. 1988, of 6 Walker Grove, Hatfield AL10 9PL – allowed his banned-breed ‘fighting’ dog to savage a pet cat and failed to get help for the stricken animal
At around 11am on June 23, 2018, a pitbull-type dog owned by Daniel Stasik chased a cat named Shelly into an alleyway in Walker Grove and attacked her. Stasik grabbed the dog, but was unable to keep control of him.
He did not attempt to assist the cat or find her owners to get medical assistance.
Around 1am the following morning, Shelly was found by her owner in a nearby garden covered in blood and faeces and unable to place any weight on her hind legs.
Due to the length of time she had been left, there were maggots around her wounds.
Over the next few days, Shelly’s condition deteriorated and following multiple treatments and attempts at resuscitation, she died from her injuries on July 1, 2018.
On July 20, officers from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit attended Stasik’s address to execute a warrant to seize his dog.
The dog was examined and confirmed to be substantially a pit bull-type.
Stasik was reported to court for possessing a fighting dog under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
At court, Stasik pleaded guilty to possessing a fighting dog and, while initially pleading not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Shelly, was found guilty of that offence.
PC Gavin Richardson, from the Welwyn Hatfield West Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Pit bulls are banned in the UK and Stasik’s dog posed a very serious danger to public safety.
“Not only did Stasik have possession of a banned dog breed, but he made no attempts to help save the cat and instead simply left her to die.
“This was extremely distressing for her owners who found their beloved pet in an incredibly distressed state with horrendous injuries.
“I hope that this sentence provides some justice for the victims and that the public feel safe knowing that Stasik will not be allowed to have dog for another decade.”
Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid community work. Ordered to pay compensation to Shelly’s owners for vet costs and to the police for kenneling costs. Banned from having custody of a dog for 10 years. Stasik’s dog was ordered to be put down, unless an appeal is lodged within 21 days.
=== Update We’re building quite a profile on this piece of filth. He is from Poland. He came to the UK in 2009 to work as a painter/decorator but is now living on benefits. He showed no remorse in court and he and his friend seemed to find the proceedings amusing. He freely admitted in court that he beat his dog. Another cat belonging to Shelly’s heartbroken owner died after being deliberately poisoned. This happened just after Stasik was charged. Coincidence? Stasik has another address in Prayle Grove, London NW2 1BD
#TheList Lorna Farrar, born c. 1992, of Wellingborough – neglected and starved two dogs, one of whom had to be put to sleep
Lorna Farrar allowed her dogs, Staffies Panda and Budz, to become malnourished, underweight and in generally poor condition with their coats covered in faeces and urine.
When the mother-of-two took the dogs to the vet Panda collapsed and had to be put down. Budz was given food and water and immediately began eating. Six weeks later he had put on four times his body weight after being put on a normal diet.
The court heard that the examining vet had never seen a dog as emaciated as Panda whom she believed had been starved for three weeks .
There was no underlying medical condition that could have caused the dogs to become emaciated.
Farrar’s lawyer told the court her client was “well-intentioned” but “incompetent” when it came to care.
A post-mortem examination of Panda revealed she had undigested penne in her stomach – because Farrar had been feeding the dogs a “pasta diet”.
Sentencing: Farrar was originally jailed for 18 weeks but this was reduced to a 12-month community order on appeal. Banned for life from keeping animals.
#TheList Christopher Bloy, born c. 1992, and partner Heather Wray, born c. 1993, both of Patrick Street, Grimsby DN32 – banned from keeping animals after their extremely malnourished German Shepherd had to be put down
Neglectful Christopher Bloy and mother-of-two Heather Wray admitted causing unnecessary suffering to German Shepherd Cassie by failing to investigate the cause of her poor body condition and weight loss.
Rachel Taylor, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that the emaciated dog weighed only 12kg when the usual weight for a dog of her size and breed is between 30kg and 35kg.
“There was a real failure to investigate why this dog weighed such a low weight of 12kg when it was presented in such a condition that it had to be euthanised,” said Miss Taylor.
Ironically, there was another dog at the couple’s house but that one had a normal weight and had received food.
“Cassie was not receiving food,” said Miss Taylor. “Either the other dog was eating it or there was no food put down.
“The charge is failing to address the loss of weight rather than a deliberate act of cruelty.
“I can’t say that this is a deliberate case of failing to feed. Certainly, the dog was not sufficiently fed.”
The prosecution did not accept that the dog had an underlying condition because the couple seemed to have been advised by a vet in 2016 that follow-up appointments would be needed. Her weight then was only 18kg.
These appointments were never kept, however, and attempts by the veterinary surgery to make contact were unsuccessful.
A post-mortem suggested that there was no underlying reason for the weight loss.
Craig Davy, mitigating, said the other dog was perfectly healthy but was treated in a similar way to Cassie and they claimed that the second dog might have taken some of Cassie’s food.
“They noticed the weight of Cassie declining in a period of a few weeks,” said Mr Davy.
“They should have done more over that period of time. Both were distressed by the fact that Cassie had to be put down.”
The court heard that Bloy claimed because he worked away 60 to 70 hours a week, he did not notice the dog had lost weight. She used to play around in the garden and the first time he realised there was a problem was when the dog collapsed.
Wray had owned Cassie since she was a puppy but two years ago, her behaviour changed and she started jumping at shadows and running around obsessively.
The pair said they sought help and tried to sort out the problems but the dog would not eat when she was watched.
Wray admitted that she should have sought advice a lot earlier and she regretted that.
A woman who was in court supporting the couple had offered to provide a new home for the other dog.
District judge Daniel Curtis told the couple: “Unfortunately, through your neglect, this dog had to be euthanised on the day that it appeared in front of a veterinary surgeon, who took the view, having examined it, that it was extremely malnourished and had been neglected.
“During that period, you did not do enough to save that dog. You should have looked after it. It’s an obligation that you have.
“The dog was emaciated in 2016. It was even worse when you presented it at the vet’s in 2018.”
The RSPCA will decide whether the supporter who was in court is a suitable person to have care of the other dog.
After the hearing, the woman was among angry supporters of Bloy and Wray who confronted a Grimsby Live photographer, hurling loud abuse and waving their arms around to try to prevent pictures of the defendants being taken as they left court.
Sentencing: Bloy was given 80 hours’ unpaid work and Wray was given five days’ rehabilitation. Total of £585 costs and charges each. 10-year ban on keeping animals with no right of appeal for five years.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said: “This charge was dealt as Storer failed to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary treatment to Sasha, a female Boxer, who, upon vet examination was scored with a body condition score of 1/5 with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily evident from a distance.
“Sasha had inflamed and overgrown gums with evidence of a chronic bacterial infection. As well as this, several of her lower incisor teeth were fractured and diseased which was obviously painful to the touch.
“Three small tumours were found on various points of her body and a veterinary exam found Sasha to have renal compromise, dental disease and hypothyroidism.
“Unfortunately, after struggling with various health issues, the sad decision was made to put Sasha to sleep.
“I’m happy the courts have dealt with this case, however it further highlights our push for tougher and more consistent sentencing. This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight and could have easily been avoided.”
Sentencing: Storer was fined £300 and banned from owning dogs for two years.
#TheList Reece Kevin Tommy West, born 25/10/1996, of St John’s Road, Rotherham – beat a tiny chihuahua so badly he had to be put to sleep
The chihuahua, Mac, suffered severe head injuries resulting in him having to be put to sleep on humane grounds whilst in the care of his owner’s then boyfriend Reece West.
West was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by subjecting him to non-accidental injury on April 12, 2018.
After the case, RSPCA Inspector Paula Clemence said: “This was a very upsetting case to deal with. The owner of Mac is devastated – as you’d imagine.
“She left for work, and everything was fine, then she got a text from her boyfriend at the time – West – saying something was wrong with Mac and she needed to come back.
“She went straight home and found Mac collapsed, bleeding from his eye and ear and turning blue. She rushed him to a vet where he was placed on oxygen and examined and found to have severe head trauma.
“Extremely sadly, the decision was made to put him to sleep on humane grounds.”
Vet evidence stated that Mac had a large swelling around his left eye, bruising to his ear and across his body including his chest, toes and legs, and had a number of scratches and small abrasions.
A post mortem examination confirmed that Mac had a fractured skull and haemorrhaging to his head and neck consistent with large magnitude blunt force trauma to the area.
West maintained that he had assumed Mac had gone downstairs whilst he was lying in bed, and woke up some time later to find the dog on the bed crying and collapsed.
Both vets who gave evidence felt it was impossible that the dog had sustained the injuries himself, and that a fall from a small height like a bed or sofa or even down the stairs wouldn’t have resulted in head injuries so severe.
RSPCA Inspector Clemence added: “This incident caused a great deal of suffering to Mac, and his death, as well as an enormous amount of upset to his owner whose grief over what happened goes on.”
Sentence: 26 weeks in jail; total of £915 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList David Morris, born c. 1968, and Susan Morris, born c. 1965, both of Southland Court, Grimsby DN37 9LL – left their flea-riddled Shih-Tzu dog to suffer with matted fur, skin and eye problems; dog later PTS
David and Susan Morris denied three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the nine-year-old male dog, named Fifi, but were convicted after a trial.
Fifi was riddled with fleas and had badly matted fur as well as skin and eye problems.
The court heard that matting would have stopped him from being able to scratch properly and he would have been in a lot of pain. It was estimated that he had had fleas for two years.
The couple said they could not afford the cost of veterinary treatment so simply left the dog to suffer.
In a tragic twist, Fifi later had to be put down due to another problem.
Gordon Holt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Grimsby magistrates that an inspector visited the couple’s home on January 27, 2018, and examined Fifi.
Mr Holt said: “There was clear evidence that there was suffering to this animal and it had been going on for some time.”
Fifi was taken to the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby , where a vet clipped him “from head to toe” to get rid of the matting.
“The vet believed Fifi had been caused unnecessary suffering,” said Mr Holt.
The vet said: “I have never seen a flea infection that was so bad. Fleas were visible on every part of his body.”
Sadly, Fifi put down six months later because of a suspected central nervous problem.
David Morris later said of the dog: “I rescued him off the street. I have had him six or seven years.
“I feel we have rescued Fifi from certain death on the day I rescued him.
“I have not been cruel but possibly I have been stupid. I am bereft if my dog has suffered.”
Susan Morris claimed she did not notice the skin and eye conditions but bathed the dog sometimes for fleas.
Defence barrister Hywel Davies claimed: “There were no signs of discomfort or suffering. They were not to know.
“Nothing there warrants a trip to the vet’s.”
David Morris, a trained nurse, told the court that he found the stray dog on the streets.
Part of the reason he did not alert a vet was that he feared that Fifi would turn out to be microchipped and “would be taken back to that awful place” where he believed the dog had been cruelly treated.
He claimed that he did not see any eye or skin problems.
“I never noticed any problems,” he said.
“I didn’t think it was causing him any discomfort. It didn’t seem to bother him.
“We knew there were fleas. We must have used every flea shampoo, flea powder that was available.
“If a new flea product came out, we used it. It seemed to reduce them to some extent.
“He didn’t seem to be bothered by having them. He didn’t whine and didn’t scratch unduly.
“He just seemed a happy little dog.”
There was no cause for them to have concern about the dog suffering at any time.
“If he had, he would have been taken to a vet immediately,” claimed Morris.
“I didn’t think he was suffering in any way.”
Susan Morris told the court: “He was just fine. I used to give him baths.
“I saw a few fleas on him but I was treating it, sometimes two, three times a week. It got better.
“He was just like a normal dog. He wasn’t suffering at all.”
Sentencing: David Morris: 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. Susan Morris: electronic curfew for 20 weeks Total of £335 costs and charges each Both were banned indefinitely from keeping animals
#TheList Vicki Ann Ball, born 28/07/1981, of 31 Mark Avenue, Horncastle LN9 5BD – allowed her cockerpoo dog to become so poorly he had to be euthanised on welfare grounds; denied that the dog was hers and showed no remorse
Vicki Ball pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to her black cockerpoo, named Ned, who was found by an examining vet to be in a collapsed state, with his coat matted with faeces and urine. His skin was covered in open wounds, which were infested with maggots.
The court heard that Ball took Ned to a dog rescue in June 2018 claiming that she had found the stricken dog on her lawn. The rescue took Ned to a vet who took the decision to put him to sleep immediately to end his suffering.
During interview with the RSPCA, Ball said she had owned Ned in the past, but had given him away on Facebook ‘free to a good home’ in early 2018. She was unable to provide any evidence of this, however.
An RSPCA inspector visited Ball’s address and noticed a run at the side of the house that was being dismantled and had dog faeces in it.
A witness gave evidence that they had seen her with Ned recently and the dog was microchipped to her.
RSPCA Inspector Kate Burris said: “This was one of the most distressing cases I have dealt with because of the utter lack of any emotion or empathy displayed by the owner towards this dog.”
In mitigation, the court heard that Ball had pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions. It was said that she found Ned difficult to look after due to family commitments and his behaviour.
Sentencing 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work. Fine and charges totalling £584. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.