Tag Archives: elderly animal

Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees: Kelly Henry

#TheList Kelly Henry, born 10/01/1984 of Hatchlands Park, Ingleby Barwick TS17 5GT – for the prolonged ill-treatment of her elderly Labrador

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees
Personal trainer Kelly Henry is banned from keeping animals for just five years

Self-employed fitness instructor Kelly Henry, who trades under the name Kelly Henry Signature Personal Training, pleaded guilty to cruelty towards her emaciated black Labrador, known as Shadow.

The ten-year-old dog, whom Henry had owned since she was a puppy, was found by the RSPCA in a “dreadful condition”, weighing just 16kg and having no body fat.

Police were called to Henry’s previous address in Eaglescliffe, Stockton, after an RSPCA inspector saw Shadow looking starved in the garden through slots in the fence. The inspector found two empty dog bowls.

Stuart Bennett, prosecuting, told the court the dog would have been “in pain and suffering weakness” due to malnutrition.

Mr Bennett estimated that this suffering would have lasted around four weeks but “only occurred due to neglect which had obviously been far longer”.

Henry claimed she had fed Shadow but admitted it “probably wasn’t enough”.

Shadow was also found to have cataracts, which Henry had dismissed as “glazed eyes” due to her age. Henry agreed that she should have taken the dog to the vet and said she hadn’t done so as she “didn’t want to look like a bad person”.

The prosecution said that Henry had bought two kittens whom she had taken to the vet regularly, adding that this was “difficult to comprehend”.

The court was shown a series of photographs as evidence of Henry’s neglect. These included photos of Shadow with a protruding rib cage and spine.

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees

A probation service report described how Henry’s personal circumstances had changed after the collapse of her marriage. They said that her neglect of Shadow was “a result of her burying her head in the sand with everything else going on in her life”.

Henry expressed remorse for her actions and agreed that she could have cared for Shadow “a lot better”.

Danielle Hewitt, defending, said that Henry’s two children would “suffer if a custodial sentence were to be imposed”.

Sentencing: 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months. 25 days of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £522 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Deprivation order on Shadow and her two kittens.


Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Janice Clow

#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

Elderly German Shepherd Rocky was riddled with fleas and suffering multiple ailments, none of which had been treated by his uncaring owner Janice Clow
Elderly German Shepherd Rocky was riddled with fleas and suffering multiple ailments, none of which had been treated by his uncaring owner Janice Clow

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.


Newton Aycliffe, County Durham: Sharon Lunn

#TheList Sharon Lunn, born c. 1975, of Biscop Crescent, Newton Aycliffe DL5 – failed to get treatment for her elderly dog’s severe dental disease, cataracts and large tumour.

Elderly dog Max was neglected by his junkie owner Sharon Lunn
Junkie Sharon Lunn ignored 14-year-old Max’s health problems

RSPCA inspectors attended Lunn’s address in response to a call from a concerned member of the public where they found 14-year-old Max dirty and with a large swollen lump on his testicle.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting, said: “The dog was removed from the house and taken to the vets who confirm that the dog has cataracts and severe dental disease on both sides of its mouth, on the upper and lower jaws and a large swollen lump on his testicle.

“He states that the dog would have been suffering as a result of the neglect. He also had suppressed bone marrow, anaemia and fleas at that time and needed 21 teeth removing as a result.

“The vet states that the dog would have been in pain, with that degree of toothache.

“It would have been visible to any reasonable dog owner.

“The vet states the symptoms would have been visible for at least six months.

“They believe that the person responsible should not be looking after animals.

“It’s accepted by the RSPCA that this was not a deliberate cause of suffering, rather neglect over a long period of time.”

A report from probation said Lunn was devastated about what had happened.

It said: “She lives alone and has not worked for a number of years and she’s not really able to start work at the moment because of her emotional health.

“She is also currently on a methadone prescription.

“During her early 20s she became addicted to cocaine after a serious operation which progressed to heroin.

“There have been times in her life when she has been unable to leave the house.

“She says she knows she should have got medical attention but the dog seemed happy and running around.

“She is devastated by everything that has happened and says the dog was the only thing she had left in her life. She very much regrets her actions and the thought that the animal suffered devastates her.”

Lunn pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between August 2018 and August 2019.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 15 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £235 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Northern Echo

Mirfield, West Yorkshire: Krisztina Kubovics

#TheList Krisztina Kubovics, born 07/11/1985, of 11 Finching Grove, Mirfield WF14 0LH – for the extensive and prolonged neglect of her elderly Shih Tzu dog

Animal abuser Krisztina Kubovics and her neglected dog Malua
Animal abuser Krisztina Kubovics and her neglected dog Malua. The little shih Tzu has recovered and now lives with an RSPCA inspector.

Hungarian national Kubovics pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and failing to take steps to ensure its needs were met.

The neglect was uncovered when a neighbour of Kubovics took the 16-year-old dog, known as Malua, to a qualified dog groomer.

The professional was so concerned she refused to groom her and contacted the RSPCA.

Andrew Davidson, prosecuting, said following her contact with the charity an inspector visited Kubovics’s home and took the dog away to be examined by a vet.

Mr Davidson added: “She talked about Malua’s coat being in an extremely poor condition with heavy matting.

“There was a problem with the left eye, overgrown claws and significant dental disease.

“The claws were extremely long with one puncturing the skin.

“Ultimately the eye had to be removed (and) the teeth were so long that a number had to be taken out.

“She said that Malua would have suffered as a result of the chronic eye disease and overgrown claws.

“It would have caused extreme discomfort and (she) would have expected the owner to notice and seek advice.

“The claws, particularly the one going into the skin, would have caused chronic and persistent pain and difficulty walking. The dental disease would have taken years to develop.”

When interviewed Kubovics admitted she hadn’t taken her dog to the groomers because she didn’t want her hair too short and, in any event, it would be difficult for anyone to touch her because she might bite.

She admitted that Malua’s nails were curling and that she tried to cut them herself with scissors because she couldn’t afford to have them done due to financial difficulties.

Sajid Majeed, mitigating, said that his client had experienced lots of difficulties in her life.

Mr Majeed said: “Ms Kubovics has dealt with things in her life not so well and this is one of them. The dog clearly hasn’t been cared for properly.”

Sentencing: community order with 10-day Rehabilitation Activity Order and 120 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £332 cost and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for five years. Deprivation order on Malua.

Daily Star

Chopwell, Newcastle upon Tyne: Anthony, John and Merrissa Sellars

#TheList Anthony ‘Tony’ William Sellars (born 19/12/1969), wife Merrissa Pauline Sellars ( née Henderson and born 17/11/1989) and son John Thomas Sellars (b. 28/02/1998), all of 41 Clyde Street, Chopwell, Newcastle upon Tyne NE17 7DH – failed to treat their elderly dog’s leg facture and chronic dental disease

Dog abusers Tony Sellars, Merrissa Sellars and John Sellars all of Chopwell, Gateshead
Dog abusers Tony Sellars, Merrissa Sellars and John Sellars pictured outside court

Anthony, John and Merrissa Sellars all pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher, known as Bing. Sadly Bing was so poorly he had to be put to sleep by a vet.

An investigation was launched after RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws was called to investigate reports of a severely sick dog in May 2019.

Neglected lurcher Bing was left to suffer in agony with a broken leg and dental disease by Tony Sellars, Merrissa Sellars and John Sellars all of Chopwell, Gateshead
The Sellars left their elderly pet to suffer in agony with a broken leg and dental disease.

She found Bing in severe pain with a broken leg, underweight and severely decayed teeth.

Insp Keogh-Laws said: “The condition poor Bing was in was shocking and he was clearly in terrible pain.

“His left hind leg was visibly swollen and appeared at least three times the size of his other hind leg. The poor boy couldn’t bear any weight on it. He was also underweight as I was able to clearly see his ribs, hips and spine.

“They claimed they had taken Bing to a vet, but when I looked into this, the vet had no record of him being brought in for treatment.”

Dog abusers Tony Sellars and Merrissa Sellars of Chopwell, Gateshead
Merrissa and Tony Sellars

Insp Keogh-Laws continued: “When I took poor Bing to the vet myself, he found a severe and untreated leg fracture which would have been causing Bing intense pain since he became injured, along with chronic, untreatable dental disease which would have required extracting all his teeth.

“He was also severely underweight. He was suffering so much the vet decided that sadly, the kindest option was to put Bing to sleep.”

Bing was a white and brindle male neutered lurcher, aged between 12-14 years old, and had been owned by the family from the age of one.

Dog abusers Tony Sellars, Merrissa Sellars and John Sellars all of Chopwell, Gateshead

Insp Keogh-Laws added: “This has been a tragic case which never should have happened.

“Bing was in his later years of life and should have been treated with love, kindness and been given the care that he desperately needed.

“He could have been spared this unnecessary suffering if only his owners had taken him to a vet when they realised he was injured.

“We were only made aware of poor Bing’s situation thanks to the person that called us, so we would always urge anyone with concerns about the welfare of an animal to contact our cruelty hotline on 0300 1234 999 so we can look into it.”

Sentencing: all three were given twelve weeks in prison and a lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Northern Echo

Middlesbrough: Neil Souter

#TheList Neil Patrick Souter, born 29/11/1960, of Blakey Walk, Middlesbrough TS6 8BB – exposed his three dogs to extreme suffering

Neglected dogs belonging to Neil Souter from Middlesbrough
One of Neil Souter’s three neglected dogs

Souter denied his pet terriers Boyo, Vino and Baby veterinary treatment over a five-year period and allowed them to suffer severely, leaving one with an “oozing” tumour, and others with growths, blackened skin, and teeth problems.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, described the scene to the court:
“There was an unpleasant smell in the house and all three dogs were in poor condition.

“On arrival, Baby was asleep, but the inspector saw that she had fur loss.”

Neglected dogs belonging to Neil Souter from Middlesbrough
The dogs were suffering a range of medical and dental issues but their irresponsible owner had failed to take to them to the vet.

Baby also had tumorous masses on her bottom and right foot, leaving her unable to walk and suffering for “no less than two weeks”.

Mr Haywood added that Souter said he was “aware of the lump” and said Baby had had it for about “five years”.

“The defendant had an open bottle of alcohol and was seen to be under the influence”, he said.

“He then walked out of the house holding Vino shouting that the RSPCA were going to take the dog to put her to sleep.”

Souter eventually “calmed down” and let the inspector remove the dogs.

All three of the dogs had “black, thickened and flaky” skin from untreated disease likely caused by fleas, while Boyo and Vino had dental disease that caused suffering for “no less than six months”.

All three dogs were later euthanised or passed away from their catalogue of ailments.

Souter said he accepted ownership and “did what he could” when it came to the dogs’ health.

A probation officer told the court that Souter was “resistant” to questions and alleged photos of the neglect had been “tampered with” by the RSPCA.

His solicitor Paul McGee said his client, who had no previous convictions, is paranoid and believes “people are out to get him”.

He also submitted a string of other factors in mitigation, including that Souter was blind in one eye, had a fear of leaving home and was struggling after a string of family bereavements.

But district judge Natalie Wortley dismissed pleas for leniency: “This is a case that involved prolonged neglect and a high level of suffering.

“I have heard you were extremely loyal to those dogs and loved those dogs but you neglected them severely.”

Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison; ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. Disqualified from owning animals for five years.


Carr Vale, Bolsover, Derbyshire: Emma Bluff

#TheList Emma Bluff, born c. 1976, of 3 Valley Cottages, Sherwood Street, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6JR – left her elderly dog to suffer for at least six months with a horrendous flea infestation

Animal abuser Emma Bluff of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Bluff pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to 11-year-old Akita/Staffy cross Molly when she appeared at Chesterfield magistrates’ court.

RSPCA Inspector Mick Darling was sent to Bluff’s home after a tip off from the public and found the dog had lost half of her fur due to a severe flea infestation which a vet said had been left untreated for at least six months.

Molly was put to sleep following neglect by her owner, Emma Bluff of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK.
Molly was put to sleep following neglect by her owner, Emma Bluff of Chesterfield, Derbyshire

The vet found Molly was covered in fleas with inflammation all over her body, head, neck, muzzle, and legs which had led to numerous self-trauma injuries and infections.

The collar on Moly was so badly fouled by the fleas that the vet was unable to unclip it and it had to be cut off.

Due to her age, the flea infestation had caused Molly’s health to fail.

She was underweight, had an untreated growth at the bottom of her tail and she was struggling to stand on her back legs.

Her claws were long with the front dew calls almost sticking into her leg. She also had sore feet which had been caused by standing in urine.

Due to the severity of her condition, her suffering and the fact she had other health problems the vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put Molly to sleep.

Inspector Darling said: “Molly was in a terrible condition and was left like this for at least six months.

“Sadly this case goes to show how untreated skin conditions and allergies can lead to painful and horrendous suffering and other health issues – it is a pet owner’s duty to seek veterinary treatment.”

Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months; 80 hours of unpaid work; a total of £450 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Derbyshire Times

Boldon Colliery, Tyne and Wear: Susan Evans

#TheList Susan Evans, born 12/07/1972, of Morris Crescent, Boldon Colliery NE35 9DY – left her elderly flea-riddled German Shepherd starving and in pain with numerous untreated ailments

German shepherd Sabre had to be put down after being found ‘emaciated’ and in pain at the home of Susan Evans of Boldon Colliery in Tyne and Wear, UK.
German shepherd Sabre had to be put down after being found ‘emaciated’ and in pain at the home of Susan Evans of Boldon Colliery in Tyne and Wear.

German Shepherd Sabre was rushed to the vets after RSPCA inspectors found him in a shocking condition.

His owner, Susan Evans, had left him to suffer, claiming the nearest vet was “too far away” when in reality there was a surgery just 10 minutes from her home.

On examination, the dog was found to have osteoporosis, which would have caused him considerable pain, as well as a bowel disorder. He was emaciated with bones visible through his fur. There was a crusty discharge to large areas of the skin around his eyes, which was red and inflamed, and there were several patches of hairless inflamed skin on his body and elbows.

The vet who assessed him noted that Sabre was ‘emaciated’ and his ailments would have been ‘very painful’, the court heard.

The decision was taken by the vet that Sabre should be euthanised for his own quality of life.

Evans, who sobbed uncontrollably in court, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary abuse to an animal.

Prosecutor Neil Taylor said: “It was immediately obvious Sabre was suffering.”

Mr Taylor added: “The defendant very simply, and you may think callously over a period of time, failed to take Sabre to a vet.”

Geoffrey Michael Forrester, defending, told the court the RSPCA’s claims were “unfounded and inappropriate”.

He said that Evans was an animal lover, who had fostered over the years.

“I’m afraid the reason she hadn’t taken the dog to the vets is she was afraid the vet may have to put the dog to sleep,” he said.

“That’s anything but callous.”

Mr Forrester said his client had suffered a “terrific punishment” by being prosecuted.

He claimed she had mental health issues – including anxiety – adding: “It is not her fault she is in the state she is in.

“No one would want to live the life the way she lives her life with the demons she’s got.

“For someone like her the very existence of these proceedings, and having to come to court, is a far greater punishment than anything you can impose.”

Sentencing: eight-week jail sentence suspended for two years. Total of £515 costs and charges. Banned for life from keeping animals.


Stockton-On-Tees, County Durham: Nicola Poppleton

#TheList Nicola Poppleton, born 26/03/1981, of Bridge House, 48-56 Bridge Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3AX – for the severe neglect of her pet dog, who was found with injuries including cigarette burns

Alcoholic mother of six Nicola Poppleton from Stockton-on-Tees left her elderly dog Buster to suffer with a variety of ailments and injuries including cigarette burns
Alcoholic mother of six Nicola Poppleton left her elderly dog Buster to suffer with a variety of ailments and injuries including cigarette burns

Mother-of-six Nicola Poppleton, was drinking up to eight litres of cider a day while her cross-breed terrier named Buster suffered skin lesions, a severe ear infection and a jaw muscle condition.

The dog was found by an RSPCA inspector in a flat in Hartington Road, in central Stockton, while Poppleton was “fighting in a drunken state” outside.

Poppleton had faced four separate charges relating to causing suffering to an animal which were found proved in absence when she failed to attend Teesside Magistrates’ Court the previous month.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, told the court that the 10-year-old dog was found with a number of lesions consistent with cigarette burns.

He also stated that there was “muscle wastage to his head and he could barely open his jaw.”

The inspector was unable to speak to Poppleton at length as she “got into a fight with a group of people who were in a similar state.”

After further talks, Poppleton finally allowed Buster to be taken in by the RSPCA.

He was immediately taken to see a vet, who carried out tests and estimated Buster had been suffering for around three months.

The court heard Buster couldn’t fully open his mouth, meaning he could not regulate his body temperature correctly.

The vet gave him treatment, including pain killers but he was still only able to open his mouth about “three centimetres”.

He also had an ear infection, with the vet also believing he had injuries consistent with “cigarette burns.”

Despite the findings, it could not be determined if the burns were deliberate or accidental, Mr Haywood said.

The court heard that Poppleton had “accepted ownership” of Buster and that she “didn’t know he was suffering.”

A probation report stated that Poppleton was “too drunk” to notice anything was wrong with her dog who she claimed she “loved.”

Neil Douglas, defending, told how his defendant acknowledged that she was not capable of caring for the animal at the time.

He said: “This was a lady of good character who had clearly looked after the dog in reasonable state for a number years.

“However it was her alcohol misuse which essentially caused her to lose the ability to look after the dog and very nearly herself.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with an alcohol rehabilitation requirement; £480 in costs. Banned from owning animals for just five years.


Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire: Jeffrey and Sara Taylor

#TheList Jeffrey J Taylor, born c. 1987, and wife Sara J Taylor, born c. 1990, both of Salisbury Avenue, Hornsea HU18 1SX – put an emaciated and flea-infested dog to sleep to hide neglect from RSPCA

Callous Sara and Jeffrey Taylor from Hornsea near Hull, UK, had their neglected dog euthanised to avoid RSPCA prosecution.
Callous Sara and Jeffrey Taylor from Hornsea near Hull, UK, had their neglected elderly dog euthanised to avoid RSPCA prosecution.

Evil Jeffrey and Sara Taylor falsely claimed 12-year-old spaniel Max had cancer and had him put to sleep to cover up their neglect after the RSPCA launched an investigation into their treatment of their four dogs.

The pair, who pleaded guilty, had been warned that Inspector Jilly Dickinson wanted to speak to them about Max’s “worryingly thin” appearance and had him euthanised the next day.

Body of Max, who had been neglected by his owners Jeffrey and Sara Taylor of Hornsea, near Hull, UK
Max was in a poor condition as a result of the Taylors’ neglect but did not have cancer as the couple had claimed

Despite the Taylors claiming Max had cancer, it was later found he didn’t have any tumours and was skinny and riddled with fleas due to their shocking neglect.

Insp Dickinson said: “When I attended the property there was no answer but I could see a number of animals in the house through the window.

“I walked around to the back door to knock and could see two further dogs through another window.

“The Jack Russell terrier was worryingly underweight and the liver and white spaniel was painfully thin. I could see his hip bones protruding upwards and outwards, his spine was prominent and I could see all of the bones in his back legs.

“He was one of the thinnest dogs I have seen during my time as an RSPCA inspector.”

Callous Sara and Jeffrey Taylor from Hornsea near Hull, UK, had their neglected dog euthanised to avoid RSPCA prosecution.

She had left a note attached to the front door at their home in Hornsea which asked the owners to contact her. She then spoke to Mrs Taylor later that day.

When she re-visited the address the next day, Insp Dickinson was informed Max had been euthanised the night before by a vet.

She said: “Mrs Taylor told me that she’d booked Max in to be put to sleep the previous weekend but when I spoke to vets they told me that the appointment to have him put to sleep was made the previous day – the same day as my visit to the home.

“They also told me that they offered tests and scans but that the owners refused and asked that he be euthanised. Prior to that appointment, Max hadn’t been to the vets since 2016.

“Max’s body was seized and found to be in extremely poor condition. All of his bones were protruding and could be easily seen and felt. Fleas were easily visible on his fur and there was a build-up of flea dirt in his fur.

“Max’s owners should have investigated his weight-loss and sought veterinary help. They failed to adequately protect him from pain or suffering and, I believe, they attempted to hide this from the RSPCA by having him put to sleep as soon as they were aware that I had visited.”

Max was in a poor condition as a result of the Taylors' neglect but did not have cancer as the couple had claimed

The court heard how a postmortem found that Max was not suffering from any form of cancer but instead was in very poor body condition and infested with fleas.


Sara Taylor – 12-month community order of 100 hours of unpaid work; total costs and charges of £385.

Jeffrey Taylor – 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 40 hours of unpaid work; total costs and charges of £385. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for five years.

The court imposed a confiscation order in respect of three other dogs they own: Jack Russell terrier Titch, Chihuahua Phoebe and lhasa apso Hugo.

Hull Daily Mail