Tag Archives: elderly animal

Poole, Dorset: Christine and Clare Hawkins

#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

Clare and Christine Hawkins
Aspiring actor Clare Hawkins and her mother Christine Hawkins only received a five-year ban on keeping animals.

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.

Honey, who had been starved and neglected by her cruel owners
The emaciated dog was motionless when discovered by an RSPCA inspector, who initially thought she had died.

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.

Christine Hawkins

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.

Honey, who had been starved and neglected by her cruel owners

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.

Honey, who had been starved and neglected by her cruel owners

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.

Clare Hawkins
Clare Hawkins

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.”

Sentencing:

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).

Mirror
Bournemouth Echo

Yeovil, Somerset: Latoyah Stones

#TheList Latoyah Donna Stones (aka Lottie Devine), born 24/02/1992, of Hillcrest Road, Yeovil BA21 – neglected and starved a dog

Convicted dog abuser Latoyah Stones

Mother-of-three Stones caused unnecessary suffering to the female dog, known as Boston, by failing to explore or address her poor condition between March and September 2019.

The Dogue de Bordeaux had been taken to Vets4Pets in Yeovil on September 22, 2019 by Stones, who claimed the severely malnourished dog was a stray she had found.

Boston, who weighed just 30kg at the time, was taken to St Giles Animal Rescue by the local authority dog warden and social media appeals for information regarding the dog were made.

Stones’ name was put forward by members of the public who identified her as being Boston’s owner, which she later admitted when interviewed.

RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “The vet who examined Boston found her to be very thin, weighing just 30kg when a similar dog in healthy condition could be expected to weigh between 40 to 45kg, and said the dog’s condition was because of a failure to provide adequate food to maintain a normal bodily condition.

“In conclusion, the vet found no underlying causes that would have led to her being in the state she was, adding that she would have suffered for a number of months and have suffered hunger and fatigue during that time.

“This picture, which was taken ten days after she went into the care of the rescue centre, shows what an awful condition she was in.

“Thankfully, she’s now recovered thanks to simply being given an appropriate diet and the care she needs.”

Boston has since been rehomed.

Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £365 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Somerset County Gazette

Niddrie, Edinburgh: Gwendoline Richardson

#TheList Gwen Richardson, born 10/01/1961, of Hay Drive, Niddrie, Edinburgh EH16 – failed to treat her elderly dog’s serious skin disease and cancerous lumps

Neglected dog Max
Max’s owner failed to take him to the vet for treatment despite his poor condition

Gwendoline Richardson was prosecuted for cruelty to her 14-year-old dog Max following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

She allowed the dog to develop a serious skin condition and growths over the course of five years without seeking veterinary treatment.

Richardson admitted the offence at under Section 19 (2) (a) and (b) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 but was admonished.

Neglected dog Max
Max was sadly put to sleep

Scottish SPCA chief inspector Paul Anderson said: “A member of the public contacted our animal helpline after becoming concerned about Max’s condition.

“We attended Richardson’s address and examined Max. He had extensive hair loss from ribs to tail plus several lumps on his body, the most prominent being a tumour on his spine.

“While we were there, Richardson told us she hadn’t taken Max to the vet for around five years.

“It was clear that Max’s chronic skin condition and growths needed urgent veterinary attention.

“We removed the dog from the premises and immediately took him to a vet.

“The examination revealed he had severe skin disease with associated hair loss and thickening of the skin.

“The lumps did not cause Max any discomfort when manipulated. He also had an infection in both ears which was most likely a flea infection with secondary yeast infection.

“Max was taken to one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres to receive the care and medication he needed.

“Sadly, on veterinary advice, Max had to be put to sleep due to a cancerous lump in his jaw.

“We’re disappointed Richardson did not receive a sentence in this case but we are pleased she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Max.

“We hope this makes her think about her ability to care for animals in the future.”

Sentencing: admonition (a type of punishment by which an accused person will be discharged after warning him/her that if the offense is committed again s/he would be punished with severity). No ban.

Edinburgh Evening News

Warrington, Cheshire: Emma Connolly

#TheList Emma Jane Connolly, born 1989, of Wellington Street, Howley, Warrington WA1 – left her elderly pet dog to suffer with multiple ailments

Dog abuser Emma Jane Connolly from Warrington, UK

Single mother-of-two Emma Connolly admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in that she failed to seek veterinary treatment for her desperately ill 16-year-old Staffy Lucie.

Dog abuser Emma Jane Connolly from Warrington, UK

Lucie was suffering from a skin condition, ‘excessive thirst’ and hind leg weakness and pain. She was very sadly put to sleep.

Sentencing: eight-week curfew; ordered to pay £1,310 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for 10 years.

Warrington Guardian

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.

TeessideLive

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.

ChronicleLive

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.

TeessideLive