#TheList puppy farm dealer Marco Tondo, born c. 1988, currently of Northfield Park Gardens, Annan, Dumfries-shire DG12 5FP but originally from the Shettleston area of Glasgow, and partner Nadine Campbell, born 07/12/1988, of Colston Avenue, Bishopbriggs G64 1SL – sold sick puppies and ran an illegal ‘pet shop’
Wannabe gangster and alleged drug dealer Marco Tondo kept several dogs in cramped conditions at partner Campbell’s address in Bishopbriggs in October 2018.
Two of the animals had to be put down shortly after they were sold by the pair.
One had suffered organ damage. Other dogs there were also poorly and underweight.
Tondo, who shares a baby daughter with co-accused Nadine Campbell, was set to face trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court but pleaded guilty to a charge of causing “unnecessary suffering” to the puppies.
Tondo and Campbell both admitted to operating a pet shop without proper authority involving the selling of five puppies and having eight other young dogs.
Both charges spanned between October 17 and 26, 2018.
The one Tondo pleaded guilty to alone stated he did fail to provide “appropriate accommodation” for the dogs.
The court heard that two ill puppies were kept in a “cramped cage”. One was sold suffering from a number of conditions including worms and stomach issues.
The animal needed urgent vet treatment and later had to be put down.
Another was sold that day also stricken with a host of ailments including fleas and parasites.
A third puppy was then bought on October 21, 2018, at an address in Larbert, Stirlingshire.
Prosecutors said the dog – who also had fleas – then “collapsed, was pale and had a fever”.
Vets found it had signs of “organ damage”. The dog died on October 25, 2018.
A fourth puppy later sold also needed vet treatment.
The charge stated a number of puppies at the address in Bishopbriggs were “confined in a small cage” and others in a garden were “underweight”.
Tondo and Campbell were bailed pending sentencing in February 2020.
#TheList Luke Butler, born 20/09/1995, of 23 Mayfield Park South, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3NF, girlfriend Rebecca Whitlow, born c. 2000, and her mother Claire Poore, born c. 1980, both of Speedwell Avenue, St George, Bristol BS5 8DN – left a dog in severe pain with multiple health problems
Butler, Whitlow and Poore pleaded guilty to two charges of neglect in relation to six-year-old Staffy Hugo who was in such poor physical condition he had to be put to sleep.
The dog had the worst case of fleas a vet had ever seen, was blinded in one eye and could barely stand. His ribs were very prominent and he scored just three out of nine on the vet’s body health count.
The judge, Lynne Matthews, described the actions of Butler, Whitlow and Poore as ‘staggering’.
The court heard that Butler bought the dog, but was unable to keep him at the home he shares with his mother as she has cats and other animals.
So instead, Hugo lived at his girlfriend Rebecca Whitlow’s home, even though her mum Claire Poore – a mother-of-five – was not keen.
The court heard that in late July 2019, a couple who were friends of the family offered to take Hugo out for a walk, being aware that he was rarely walked (Butler, Whitlow and Poore claimed they didn’t have time to walk him).
The friends arrived in a car to take Hugo on a trip to Brean Sands beach, on July 27, 2019, and both Poore and Whitlow were at home with the dog.
“When Claire Poore brought out Hugo, he was screaming with pain,” said Lindi Meyer, prosecuting for the RSPCA.
“He was barely walking, hopping along and dragging his back legs. His left eye was closed up completely and covered in a discharge, and his coat was clearly infested with fleas,” she added.
The friends told Poore that the dog needed urgent treatment, and when neither she nor Whitlow said they would take him to the vets, they called the PDSA charity and took him in.
Ms Meyer said the PDSA vet examined Hugo and found he had minimal body fat, and was a three out of nine on the body condition score.
“He was reluctant to walk, screaming in pain. He was ‘knuckling’, which is a sign of injury, and both hind legs were being dragged,” she said.
“Hugo’s condition was severe. He had the worst flea infestation the vet had ever seen,” she added.
The court was told that after a week, Butler and the vet agreed that Hugo had to be put down.
Butler, Whitlow and Poore agreed they were jointly responsible for the dog, and all three pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect – that they caused Hugo unnecessary suffering by failing to seek prompt veterinary treatment, and a second charge that they did not take steps to ensure the needs of an animal were met.
The court heard that all three acknowledged their failure to look after Hugo. Defending, Robyn Rowland said Hugo’s condition worsened in just one week – a statement challenged by the District Judge, who pointed to the very low body condition score as evidence that the neglect was prolonged.
“Mr Butler acknowledges that he didn’t check on the animal as much as he should,” said Mr Rowland.
“He is incredibly remorseful, as they all are. He was someone who generally cares for animals.
“This was not a case of someone buying an animal and then deliberately setting out to mistreat or neglect it,” he added.
“This has been a stark learning curve for him, as it has for all of them. Little is to be gained by sending this man, or any of them, into custody,” said Mr Rowland.
“Miss Whitlow was just 18 at the time, and was a young and naive woman. She didn’t understand the difficulty in looking after an animal – it was a lack of learning and a lack of knowledge.
“Miss Poore has five children, including a two-year-old, and having the dog in her home was perhaps not her first choice. She was tearful when I met her earlier, and she can’t quite believe the situation she finds herself in,” he added.
District Judge Lynne Matthews slammed the three for their actions – or inaction.
She told them: “It’s said you loved that dog but didn’t look after it. I say you didn’t look after the dog and the dog has lost its life,” the judge said.
“If you are not in a position to look after a dog, don’t have a dog.
“You three were not up to it. I don’t take the view you were malicious and I think you were all incompetent, too busy with other things and this poor dog suffered as a result,” she added.
“If this was a child, and a child was screaming in pain, attention would be given immediately. It was obvious this dog was in extreme pain and to turn a blind eye – this is a higher culpability and greater harm,” she said.
Sentencing the trio, District Judge Matthews gave Poore a lesser sentence, and said she was less culpable for the dog’s plight.
She slammed Whitlow for not taking Hugo to the vet, or even accompanying him when their friends said they would.
“Even when it was convenient for friends to take Hugo to the vets, you still didn’t go – that’s quite staggering,” said District Judge Matthews.
She told Butler and Whitlow they were the dog’s owners and had a duty to act.
Sentencing: Poore – 12-month community order of 100 hours of community service. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.
Butler and Whitlow – ten-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Ordered to do 300 hours’ community service work. Banned from keeping any animals for five years.
#TheList Janice Clow, born 30/08/1967, of Mersey Road, Gateshead NE8 3SR – failed to treat her elderly German Shepherd’s arthritis and painful skin and eye problems
Mother-of-four Janice Clow pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to causing unnecessary suffering to her German Shepherd called Rocky.
The 11-year-old dog was in such a bad state when he was taken to the vet by the RSPCA that he had to be put down.
RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst went to Clow’s home on August 21, 2019, following a complaint about a German Shepherd with a serious skin problem.
Inspector Hurst said: “Rocky was 11 and was in a really bad way. He was shaking and itching and stood in a hunched posture.
“He’d lost almost all of the fur across his body and his skin was thickened and sore.”
Inspector Hurst took Rocky to a vet who discovered he was suffering from a chronic skin condition. Vets said he’d been in this state for at least three to six months, but they suspected he could have been suffering for years.
“Rocky had fleas and open wounds on his body,” Inspector Hurst added.
“He had severe ear infections, an ulcerated bleeding mass on one paw, and two healed corneal ulcers in one eye.
“He was extremely itchy and uncomfortable.”
The vet found he was struggling particularly on his back legs and that he’d likely been suffering from stiffness and pain caused by his arthritis for six months to a year.
Rocky also had severely overgrown nails and a painful eye condition.
“The vet said the extent of his skin condition and severity of his arthritis, which had gone untreated for months, possibly years, had caused ‘irreversible damage’ and sadly Rocky had to be put to sleep,” Inspector Hurst added.
In court, Clow said she’d tried her best to help Rocky and had sought advice from the internet but that it had not been enough to help him. The court heard that she was remorseful.
Sentencing: 16 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days; 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £515 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.
#TheList Nicole Mireille Jones, born 01/01/1990, of 22 Brynglas Avenue, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2DB – left her Husky dog to suffer in agony with multiple ailments
RSPCA Cymru had been seeking to help Jones, and made multiple visits to her property related to the condition of eight-year-old husky Chad.
Sadly, Jones failed to provide Chad – who ultimately had chronic ear infections and deteriorating physical condition – with the veterinary care he so badly needed. His skin condition was so bad that vets reported the skin “falling away” when touched. He had to be put to sleep due to the extent of his injuries.
Mother-of-one Jones pleaded guilty to an Animal Welfare Act offence of causing her Husky crossbreed to suffer.
Gemma Black, RSPCA inspector, said: “RSPCA repeatedly tried to help this individual; but they did not ensure the dog had appropriate veterinary care to tackle Chad’s dreadful physical conditions and painful ear infections.
“Sadly, poor Chad’s skin got so bad that vets told us it was beginning to fall away when touched. There was simply no choice but to put this poor, suffering Husky crossbreed to sleep.
“This sad story is a reminder that people should always seek help if they are struggling to look after their dog. The inaction of Chad’s owner cost this dog dearly, and has led to her being banned from keeping animals ever again.”
Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Ordered to pay a total of £565. Banned from keeping animals for life with the right of appeal after five years.
#TheList Natasha ‘Tasha’ Bell, born c. 1982, of Bonsall Court, South Shields NE34 0HT, and son Cameron Bell, born c. 2001, of Bamford Walk, South Shields NE34 0JA – for the neglect of two horses, one of which had to be euthanised
Mother and son Natasha and Cameron Bell admitted causing unnecessary suffering to horses Porky and Chalky and failing to meet their needs.
The animals were discovered tethered to trees in Boldon Colliery in January 2019.
Porky had collapsed and had to be put down because he was unable to recover.
Both ponies had a poor body condition and were found to have heavy worm burdens. It was said they could have been suffering for at least six months.
RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told the court how the ponies had been inappropriately tethered, were not kept in a suitable environment and had “inadequate dietary provision”.
He said an RSPCA inspector arrived at some open public land in South Tyneside on January 24, 2019, after a report of a collapsed pony.
“This pony turned out to be Porky,” said Mr Haywood. “The inspector made attempts to stand it up. It was in a poor condition and tethered inappropriately to a tree that was on a slope.
“A vet came and further attempts were made for Porky to stand. However the only course was euthanasia.
“The police also attended and euthanasia was carried out.”
The prosecutor told the court that Chalky was found in the same area, also tethered and underweight.
Further examination revealed that Porky was thin and had a worm infestation, and the animal had “lack of muscle and body strength”.
Meanwhile, Chalky’s tether had been too tight and the animal also had a high worm burden.
Mr Haywood added: “The ponies were suffering for several reasons. They had inadequate provision of water and a poor body condition.
“The environment was hazardous and there was a risk of injury. The tight tether of Chalky would have caused discomfort.
“This is a case of horses that were clearly suffering significantly.”
Solicitor Valerie Bell, representing both defendants, said the horses were owned by Cameron and his mum played a smaller role in their care.
She said Natasha Bell had suffered significant mental health problems for many years and was receiving medication. A psychiatric report explaining her background was prepared for the court.
It was said Natasha’s “mental health had deteriorated during the commission of these offences”.
Their lawyer added: “Both are genuinely remorseful and very distressed about the whole background that has led to this.”
Sentencing: Natasha Bell – 12-month community order with rehabilitation activities, £60 fine plus costs. Cameron Bell – 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year; 80 hours of unpaid work plus rehabilitation activity requirement; ordered to pay costs. Both were banned from keeping horses for 10 years.
#TheList badger digger/baiter and bloodsports fanatic Jack Starkey, born 12/10/1990, of Bold Street, Fleetwood FY7
Father-of-two Jack Starkey admitted two offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and one under the Animal Welfare Act. He was due to stand trial for a number of offences under both Acts but pleaded guilty before the trial was set to commence.
Starkey was caught badger baiting in Bluebell Wood in Denton, Greater Manchester on January 3, 2019.
Two dog walkers came across Starkey and three other men digging a badger out of its sett. The men then let a dog attack it.
The walkers called police and a local animal welfare group, who found the badly injured badger.
Sadly, the badger’s injuries were so serious he couldn’t be saved.
The following day, Chris Heyworth, an officer from the Special Operations Unit – a team of specialist officers tasked with investigating serious and organised animal crime such as animal fighting and wildlife offences – was contacted by Lancashire Badger Group who had been made aware of the incident.
Inspector Heyworth went to the scene, which was located just 70 yards from a road.
He said: “Unfortunately I’ve seen many disturbed badger setts and examples of badger digging in my 28 years as an RSPCA officer and it was clear this sett had been recently dug.
“In badger digging, a terrier is typically sent into the sett wearing a tracking collar and will corner the badger so the people above ground can dig them out.
“A large hole is dug – commonly referred to as a crowning point – and the badger is pulled out often by a large bull lurcher type dog.
“A seriously injured badger was discovered at the scene the previous day and taken to a vet but, sadly, had to be put to sleep due to the severity of the wounds.”
Information led to a suspect and the RSPCA approached Lancashire Police for assistance executing a warrant on February 12, 2019, at an address in Hodder Avenue, Fleetwood. Three dogs were found inside, two with extensive scarring and one with an open sore on his leg.
Occupants at the address said the dogs belonged to Starkey and he was contacted for interview.
Inspector Heyworth added: “We took DNA swabs from the badger’s wounds and these were later compared with DNA taken from the three dogs seized from Mr Starkey.
“Two were ruled out but results showed that a rare type of DNA – found in only one in 100 dogs – which was found on the badger was also present in the third dog.”
Starkey was charged with offences of attempting to kill a badger, digging a sett and causing suffering to one of the dogs in his care.
Starkey, who has links with the travelling community, eventually pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
The dogs remain in RSPCA care and will now be rehomed.
#TheList Joanne ‘JoJo’ Parkhurst, born 28/04/1973, of Berkley Close, High Woods, Colchester CO4 – for prolonged neglect of two Staffordshire bull terriers, one of whom had to be immediately euthanised
Parkhurst was charged with and admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after failing to take poorly Staffies Fats and Boycie to the vets for treatment.
An RSPCA inspector visiting Parkhurst’s home to check on the welfare of the dogs found rubbish piled high in the garden.
Lauren Bond, prosecuting, said: “The inspector observed Fats to be quite underweight, with hair loss at the rear, scabs and red sores on his skin, long nails, large testicles hanging lower than usual and discharge dripping from his mouth.
“His teeth were rotten and a green gunk discharge was present, while the smell was overpowering.
“She said his testicles had been in that condition for six months.
“She stated she had called the RSPCA and asked for help, stated the RSPCA had asked for £100 and she said she couldn’t afford it.
“Enquiries were made with the RSPCA and it was established they never asked for £100, they would always help any animal in need.
“There was no records of the calls.
“Boycie was in a slim body condition but was alert and responsive. There was fur missing from his rear end, his skin appeared sore, red and scabby. The defendant said he had been like that for six weeks.
“There was a third dog, Sasha, who appeared bright, alert and responsive.”
The vet who examined the two dogs described Fats’ condition as the worst they had ever seen. He had a severe jaw bone infection, skin disease and an untreated tumour on his testicle.
The smell was described as “horrendous” and his body condition was given a score of two out of ten.
Miss Bond said: “He was euthanised on humane grounds with the consent of the defendant.”
Boycie was treated for skin diseases, with the dog’s skin “scabbing badly”. He was given a body condition rating of four out of ten.
He has since made a recovery and remains in the care of the RSPCA.
Parkhurst was ordered to surrender Sasha and three cats to the RSPCA.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison, suspended for a year. 100 hours of unpaid work. Banned from owning any animal for ten years.
#TheList Samantha Kerrigan, born 01/08/1985, of Spencer Road, Londonderry BT47 – for the abandonment of a dog that was found hanging, alive, from a first-floor window of Kerrigan’s home
Samantha Kerrigan admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal on or before 1 October 2017.
The court heard that police were called to an address in Spencer Road after reports of a dog hanging from a first-floor window.
Members of the public got a ladder and rescued the dog, a female Bull Terrier.
Police forced entry into the flat and there was a strong smell of dog excreta.
The court heard the dog drank two litres of water in a very short space of time when given it by police and also ate food.
A vet determined that the dog was in danger of falling out the window and had been neglected with no access to water and being left alone in the flat.
The defendant contacted police to confirm ownership of the animal but failed to attend for interview.
The court was told the dog was euthanised a month later. The reason for this is unclear.
Defence solicitor, Maoiliosa Barr, said Kerrigan would class herself as an animal lover. He said that Kerrigan suffered from addiction issues and added she was “barely able to look after herself never mind anything else.”
The solicitor said that the dog was supposed to go to a friend of her partner but he had been sent to prison so she had taken the dog.
He said she was “very upset” when she heard what happened to the dog.
District Judge Barney McElholm said if it wasn’t for Kerrigan’s health she would have gone straight to prison.
Sentencing: eight months in prison suspended for two years. A 10-year ban on keeping any animals.
#TheList Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan, born 21/05/1967, previously of Sandford Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 (current address tbc) – starved her three cats to death – forcing one to feed off the bodies of the others to survive.
Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan left her pets to die when she moved out of her ‘filthy’ flat.
The 52-year-old moved from her home in February or March 2019, but it was up to three months before local authority housing officers discovered the pets.
The dismembered bodies of two cats were found on the living room floor, while a third was found barely alive on May 16,
The officers alerted the RSPCA to their horrific find and Inspector Jonathan Radcliffe was sent to the scene.
Two of the cats had died from dehydration and starvation, but a third was found collapsed in a critical condition having survived off the remains of his fellow pets.
He took the cat for emergency treatment but the vet made the decision to put the pet down to end his suffering.
O’Sullivan was traced to a nearby address ten days later and was arrested by police, though she failed to appear in court on two occasions.
She was tried and found guilty in her absence on November 15, 2019, of one animal welfare offence.
O’Sullivan was arrested two days later and brought before the court for sentencing on Monday, November 18.
Inspector Radcliffe said: “The flat was filthy and the remains of two dismembered cats were on the living room floor.
“There was also a cat which was barely alive collapsed nearby.
“It appears this cat had survived for weeks without food and water by eating the remains of the other two pets as they had died from starvation and dehydration.
“There was no food and water in the flat – but the toilet seat had been left up so the cats may have been able to drink from this, however, as they became weaker they would have been unable to access this water.
“It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before dying of starvation.
“It must have been awful for the remaining cat to watch as the others died in front of him and then he was forced to eat their remains in a desperate attempt to survive. Sadly this cat was too ill to recover from his ordeal.”
Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Reece Reed (aka Reece Howard-Reed), born c. 2000, most recently of Club Street, Kettering NN16 8RP – mutilated a prize-winning miniature horse by stabbing him 20 times; ripped the wings off three chickens
Reed, who has previous convictions for burglary and vehicle theft, attacked the animals in April 2018 after breaking into a Wellingborough farm. The farm owner was alerted by a burglar alarm at 07:30 a.m.
Prosecutor Priya Bakshi told the court: “He ran to the summer house to investigate. There he found a shovel, and saw one window had been pried open and another had been smashed.
“He peered through the window. There, he saw a man with a six-inch kitchen knife inside the chicken coop.”
The farmer scared off the armed man – Reed, who was naked from the waist down – before searching his stables to see if any animals had been hurt.
It was then that he found his daughter’s prize-winning miniature show horse Sol. His back legs and rear had been stabbed 20 times and he was bleeding heavily.
Additionally, Reed had cut the wings off of three chickens. They had to be put down.
In court, the judge heard how Sol was a prize winner worth over £3,000 and was on track to becoming a champion show horse. But following the attack, Sol was rendered unfit to compete ever again.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, Sol’s owner said: After I learned that Sol had been hurt I was devastated and heartbroken.
“Sol was and is my best friend and he will always be part of the family.”
Reed later pleaded guilty to the offence.
His defence barrister, Osmun Munir, said the 19-year-old was “remorseful and expresses sympathy for the family”.
But in sentencing, Judge Fowler was unable to jail Reed for more than two months over the mutilations – because the attacks were charged as “criminal damage” rather than, for example, animal cruelty.
He told Reed: “This episode can only be described as wholly despicable. The charges that you face today do not reflect the wickedness of your behaviour.
“This has been treated as if it were criminal damage against two inanimate objects. It isn’t. And it is in my view and error that ought to be corrected.”