#TheList Christine Jane Hawkins, born 30/09/1958, and daughter Clare Louise Hawkins, born 23/12/1992, both of Dewlish Close, Canford Heath, Poole BH17 8AQ – failed to get veterinary treatment for a gravely ill elderly dog
Crossbreed Honey was discovered collapsed and motionless at the home of Christine and Clare Hawkins by RSPCA Inspector Patrick Bailey, who described her as “the skinniest living dog” he had ever seen, with every bone in her body clearly visible.
The dog, whom her owners claimed was 19 years old, was rushed to the vets who identified a catalogue of serious health problems including kidney disease, dental decay and conjunctivitis. Her claws were overgrown indicating that she was never exercised. Horrifyingly her owners admitted they hadn’t taken her to the vet for 12 years.
Sadly she was too poorly to be saved and was put to sleep.
Now the Hawkins have been banned from keeping any animal for five years after admitting charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal over a three-month period in 2019.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Matthew Knight said records showed Honey had not been to the vet since 2007, adding “it was obvious this dog needed help”.
The dog had been with the family since she was a puppy. Clare Hawkins was, they said, aged around seven at the time when they first got the pet.
Graphic images were shown in court which showed Honey’s protruding ribs and pelvis bones.
Ben Schofield, mitigating on behalf of Christine Hawkins, said the mother had been struggling to accept that she allowed Honey to suffer.
“It was an incompetence by Ms Hawkins to not properly care for the animal,” said Mr Schofield.
Mark Price, mitigating for Clare Hawkins, said she broke down in tears when being interviewed and had tried to get help for Honey.
Before she contacted the RSPCA, she attempted to get assistance from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) but the charity said they needed to see proof of her mother’s benefit top-up before they could provide support.
Mr Price said when Clare Hawkins got home from work one day and discovered the dog could not stand, she spent the night by her side. She spoke to a veterinary friend and they advised her to call the RSPCA.
“She did the best she could for the dog but in an incompetent way,” said Mr Price.
Magistrate Ian Kendall said: “The photographs say it all. Absolutely appalling treatment of a poor, defenceless animal.”
Christine Hawkins: 120 hours of unpaid community work.
Clare Hawkins: 60 hours of unpaid community work.
Both defendants were ordered to pay £300 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping animals for just five years (expires July 2025).