RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s essential all animals are treated in a way which safeguards their welfare at all times, throughout their entire life.
“Many animals have their lives ended due to being put down as a result of illness, age or infirmity.
“At this upsetting final stage of an animal’s life, owners place their full trust in those employed to humanely put animals to sleep to do so competently and without causing the type of suffering Ivor sadly experienced.”
Sentencing: disqualified for transporting (but not keeping) animals for three years. 120 hours of unpaid work; £750 fine.
#TheList Michael Kevin Jackson, born c. 1958, and Christine Lorraine Carol Diane Jackson, born c. 1974, of 171 Stratford Street, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 7EQ – let their tumour-riddled dog suffer in agony for at least a month
Mastiff Butch had appalling open wounds to his head – both of his eyes had virtually disappeared. Sadly, he had to be put down after being assessed by a vet.
His owners admitted, between 1 October and 1 November 2018, causing unnecessary suffering to Butch by failing to explore and address chronic wounds to his head which led to his death.
Michael Kevin Jackson said he tried to treat the tumours by pouring Dettol over Butch’s face
RSPCA inspector Kris Walker said:
“I could smell Butch before I saw him – I’ve never smelt anything so horrific.
I couldn’t get it off myself and my van smelled for about a week afterwards.
“He was wearing a buster collar that had blood and tissue on it from the open wounds all over his head and neck, which it turned out were ulcerated cancerous tumours.
“He was crying and shaking his head and necrotic skin was going everywhere.
“His collar had blood and tissue on it from the open wounds”
The pain he was in was obvious.
It was the most appalling thing I’ve seen in a long while.
“His right eye had almost vanished and his left eye was shut.
“He couldn’t see – when we got to the vets he was bumping into the examination table and walls.
“His ear canals were so inflamed they were completely closed and the skin on the pad of one of his feet was also gone, open and bloody.
“Mr Jackson told me he had been treating him by pouring Dettol on his face.”
After examination Butch was put to sleep on vet advice.
In mitigation for Mr Jackson the court heard that the offence happened when he was separated from his wife Christine.
The dog had banged his head and sustained a cut at some stage which had worsened.
He said he did try to bathe the cut and the dog was eating okay but this was challenged and the court heard that the defendant clearly knew there was a problem as he was walking the dog at night.
The court was told he was not working due to health issues.
In mitigation for Mrs Jackson the court heard that she had not been aware of the extent of the problem, however she stated that she had asked Mr Jackson to contact the RSPCA.
The court heard that she also had health problems.
Sentencing: Michael Kevin Jackson – 12-week curfew order; 15 rehabilitation days; total of £235 costs and charges.
Christine Jackson – 12-month community order including 200 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation days, total of £235 costs and charges.
Both were disqualified from keeping animals for life.
A deprivation order was placed on Christine Jackson’s five cats.
#TheList Peter Glover, born c. 1969, of West View, Rudry CF83 3DW – failed to get veterinary treatment for his two dogs’ ailments
Peter Glover pleaded guilty to two Animal Welfare Act offences after failing to look after blue French bulldog Skylar and American bulldog Cariad.
RSPCA officers had tried repeatedly to work with Glover to address his dogs’ needs but in the end had no choice but to pursue criminal proceedings against him.
Skylar was suffering a nasty ear infection while Cariad had a serious eye condition but neither pet received treatment.
Sadly, Cariad later died following complications after surgery for pyometra – a womb infection – but Skylar is in the care of the RSPCA and will soon be made available for rehoming.
RSPCA Cymru said that Glover’s inaction amounted to “a clear failure of duty” with neither dogs’ needs met.
RSPCA inspector Sophie Daniels said: “Education and working with owners is always a priority for the RSPCA – but, sadly, we were ultimately left with no choice but to pursue legal action in this case.
“Skylar’s ear infection and Cariad’s eye problems were not given the ongoing veterinary attention that this man was legally bound to give them. There was a clear failure of duty to these poor animals.”
She added: “Owning an animal is a privilege – and ensuring appropriate veterinary care is a key part of the responsibility we have towards our pets. It’s so sad that, in this instance, that responsibility was not met.”
Sentencing: total of £235 costs and charges. 30-month ban from keeping animals (expires around June 2021).
#TheList puppy farmer David Thomas, born born 31/12/1944 , of Wallis, Ambleston, Haverfordwest SA62 – failed to care for 25 Labradors, allowing them to suffer unnecessarily and live in a “filthy and hazardous” environment.
Thomas pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences.
The court heard Thomas failed to provide a suitable environment for 25 dogs, caused unnecessary suffering to five puppies by failing to explore their poor conditions, and caused unnecessary suffering to five dogs by failing to give them appropriate veterinary care for an infection involving their feet.
The dogs – found on the derelict farm – were 19 puppies and six adults.
One puppy was sadly found dead.
The 25 dogs were removed and given immediate treatment.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “When I arrived I just remember thinking what an appalling situation this was. It was dire. These dogs and puppies were kept in filthy and hazardous conditions. They were denied access to food and water, were in danger of injury and disease, and did not have the necessary comfort in terms of shelter and bedding, and were not free to exhibit normal behaviour, by being kept in the dark with poor ventilation.
“The puppies looked thin, dehydrated and were cold, and there was evidence of caked faeces on all the puppies’ feet, and all their claws were overgrown.
“It was just horrible and just so sad to see these lovely puppies in just terrible conditions.”
The dogs were taken into the care of the local authorities for rehoming.
Inspector Hogben added: “We’d like to thank everyone who assisted in this case – the police, the local dog wardens, the local vet and Green Acres Animal Rescue.
“We really appreciate all their help in what was a challenging case, due to the numbers of dogs there.
“These dogs and puppies will now grow up in a loving, safe environment where they are given the care and attention they deserve.”
Sentencing: 24-week custodial sentence – suspended for two years. Total of £415 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for life.
#TheList Arnold Dawson, born c. 1989, and Kerry Lee Dowson, born c. 1984, both of 36 Armada Close, Basildon SS15 5GP – for cruelty towards a kitten who was injured six times in eight weeks
Dawson and Dowson admitted failing to meet the welfare needs of a black male kitten called Binx by not protecting him from recurrent injury.
The court heard Binx had been taken to the vet six times in eight weeks with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma particularly to the head.
An expert witness report found that Binx had a number of injuries and some were very severe causing large swellings to the head, fracture of the skull, a rib fracture and internal bleeding within the eyes.
The injuries to the kitten’s eyes resulted in eventual blindness.
The explanations given by Dawson and Dowson for the possible cause of injuries suffered by Binx were not consistent with their severity and the expert concluded that Binx had been subject to repeated incidents of intentional injury.
The court was also told the couple’s previous pet, a dog called Honey, had a similar pattern of unexplained injuries in her medical history which sadly resulted in Honey being put down.
Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “Binx was taken to a vet by the owner on six occasions over an eight week period, with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma.
“A deprivation order was made and Binx has now been signed over into the care of the RSPCA. We will now look to find him a new home.
“He really is the sweetest boy, despite the injuries he has suffered. He is now blind as a result of the cataracts, but this doesn’t seem to restrict him and he is still just the loveliest cat you could meet. I am certain he will make someone a wonderful addition to their family.”
Despite initially denying the charge, both Dawson and Dowson admitted one count each of failing to protect Binx from recurrent injury.
Sentencing: Dawson – 12-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work, a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to take part in a thinking skills programme.
Dowson – 12-month community order, a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
Both were disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years and each ordered to pay £600 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
#TheList Gary Chadwick, born 1999, of 29 Hartshead, Skelmersdale WN8 6PZ – battered a 20-week-old kitten and left her to suffer an agonising death
Gary Chadwick pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.
He killed the grey and white kitten, named Smokey, after he hit her so hard that he caused multiple fractures, kidney damage and significant bruising.
The kitten likely suffered for “many hours” according to the vet who carried out the post-mortem.
A carer for Chadwick, who has autism and had also previously been on medication for schizophrenia , discovered the kitten after she saw her struggling to use her front legs and heard her wailing in pain before she died.
She said Chadwick was acting “shifty”, claiming the cat always made those noises when it used the litter tray.
The carer left the house and called the RSPCA to report Chadwick for animal cruelty.
When interviewed, Chadwick claimed he had only ever slapped Smokey once during her short life but said he never threw or kicked her.
David Lloyd, defending, told Liverpool Magistrates’ Court: “I don’t think he intended to deliberately hurt the kitten.”
Adding: “He has asked me to inform the court, to say he was fond of the kitten.”
Inspector Joanne McDonald said: “We will never know the exact details of how the kitten came to have these injuries but from what the expert witnesses told the court it must have been terrible.
“Smokey was only 20 weeks old and the suffering she must have endured after the attack must have been terrible.”
Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Yvonne McAllister, born 1963, of 27 Wordsworth Close in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire BB5 4QP – kept a poorly Westie in a dirty and flea-infested cage under the stairs of her home
Cruel Yvonne McAllister pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to West Highland terrier Bobby.
The dog was spotted by a district nurse during a visit to McAllister’s home.
The court heard how McAllister told the nurse that Bobby had a skin condition for which she had bought shampoo but hadn’t taken him to the vet.
She had also bought clippers but Bobby ‘wouldn’t let anyone near him to cut his nails’.
An RSPCA officer later attended the property and said he was ‘unrecognisable to him as a West Highland Terrier’ with grey skin which was ‘leather-like, thick and dry’.
The officer said Bobby must have had the skin condition for an ‘extended period of time’ and he was ‘subdued, lethargic and reluctant to move’. When he asked to take the dog to a vet McAllister refused and said she wanted an independent assessment.
RSPCA prosecutor Paul Ridehalgh said Bobby’s skin was pink with ears ‘twice the size’ as normal and his paws were ‘overgrown and had begun to twist’.
Police were called to the property and Bobby was taken to the Myerscough Veterinary Group. Mr Ridehalgh said Bobby had to be carried into the consultancy room because he was ‘unable to walk’ and ‘so weak he could not stand up’.
The vet said his nose was ‘dry and cracked’ and she couldn’t examine his ear canal because it was ‘too inflamed’. His eyes were also covered with a ‘thick green discharge’.
The prosecutor said: ‘In the vet’s opinion he was in a very poor condition. She observed that she had never seen an animal in such a condition previously.’
The court was told that Bobby ‘highly likely had an underlying systemic disease’ which led to ‘secondary bacterial infection’.
Mr Ridehalgh said the dog had suffered ‘for a period of at least several months and possibly longer’ and had to be put down after ‘long-term neglect’.
McAllister said she couldn’t afford to take Bobby to the vet and ‘nothing was done on purpose’.
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work, a three-month curfew, ordered to pay £600 costs. Banned from owning or keeping animals for five years.
#TheList Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, born 24/01/1995, of George Street, Atherton, Wigan M46 and brother John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, born c. 1994, of Bolton Road, Atherton, Wigan M46 – allowed a pack of neglected ponies to roam on an industrial estate
In a prosecution brought by the RSPCA brother and sister Aithne and John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, whose mother is convicted horse abuser Lorraine Ashurst, pleaded guilty to a string of cruelty offences.
Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy admitted seven offences related to the care of seven Welsh-type ponies while her brother pleaded guilty to four charges involving looking after the same animals.
A grey mare was found by RSPCA inspectors with her feet in terrible condition. The animal was lame from severely overgrown hooves, had an abscess and suffered from chronic laminitis.
Five of the ponies were also not protected from pain and suffering because a farrier was not employed to look after their hooves.
The seven animals were also not provided with a suitable living environment.
John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, who has a previous conviction for horse cruelty, admitted failing to provide suitable accommodation for the ponies, not providing them with daily care and supervision to prevent harm coming to them, neglecting the grey mare and not getting a farrier for two grey mares.
Most of the animals were pregnant and one sadly died from complications giving birth after the RSPCA had rescued them.
Animal welfare inspectors found the terrified creatures causing chaos at a glass manufacturer’s site in Hindley after escaping from their grazing grounds.
They had also crossed a main road streaming with traffic during their wanderings.
RSPCA inspector Alison Fletcher said: “This case highlights the need for responsible equine ownership. Horses need to be contained in a suitable and secure environment.
“There have been a lot of problems with straying horses in Wigan over the years and it causes a risk to the animals and to people.
“The ponies had got off the land where they were originally being kept, gone down a main road and ended up on an industrial estate. It was extremely dangerous for them and they were very fearful.
“This case also highlights the basic needs horses have, like regular foot trimming. If this doesn’t happen it can cause them immense suffering.
“You can’t just have a pet horse in a field. The costs of looking after them are extremely high and people need to think through what they are going to need before they take on an equine.”
The animals were so frightened they had to be sedated for inspectors’ safety during the operation to remove them on February 2, a day after the welfare charity was called about them.
Defending Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, Paul Blanchard said ownership of the horses had been transferred to her from other family members in December 2017 and she had to take responsibility for what subsequently happened to them.
Peter Leather, representing John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy, said his client admitted neglecting the ponies after being tasked with maintaining the fences and keeping their enclosure secure as well as feeding them hay each day.
Sentencing: John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy – 120 hours of unpaid work; £2,400 costs plus £85 victim surcharge Aithne Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy – 70 hours of unpaid work; £1,200 costs plus £85 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping horses for two years and deprivation orders were made to take the six surviving ponies and their foals away from the Ashurst-O’Shaughnessys.
#TheList Kathryn Elizabeth Harpin, born 01/01/tbc, of George-a-Green Road, Wakefield WF2 – left poorly 10yo cocker spaniel to suffer for at least five days in his bed when he was unable to move
Kathryn Harpin pleaded guilty to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a cocker spaniel called Humphrey.
The court heard that the RSPCA became involved in May 2018 when a member of the public contacted the charity with concerns about the dog’s welfare.
When RSPCA inspector Jenny Bethel visited Harpin’s address, she found 10-year-old Humphrey lying in his dog bed unable to move.
“He was in a very bad way,” said Inspector Bethel. “What struck me straightaway was how lethargic he was, he didn’t respond to anything and was clearly too ill to stand.”
Inspector Bethel took Humphrey to a vet, where examination showed he was underweight – weighing 16kg instead of the 23kg he should have weighed – as well as being covered in fleas. Blood tests showed he was anaemic.
“He also had severe dental problems and some of his teeth had completely worn down leaving pulp exposed,” said Inspector Bethel.
“We were shocked to see that he had a large ulcer on his backend which was infected, and as he’d been bedridden for at least five days he’d also developed a large and infected pressure sore on his left leg.
“Humphrey was clearly suffering and he was close to death. The vet believed the level of weight loss, muscle wastage and size of the ulcers had taken a significant time to develop, and they believed he had been lying in his bed with no movement for five days, just suffering.
“His prognosis was poor, and the vet made the difficult decision to put him to sleep as it was the most humane thing for Humphrey, who was in so much pain and discomfort.”
The court heard in mitigation that Harpin had no previous criminal record, that she was suffering from stress at the time of the offence and that she regretted what happened to Humphrey, who she had owned since a pup.
Sentence: 12-month community order to include 40 hours of unpaid work, costs of £300 and an £85 victim surcharge.Banned from keeping dogs for 12 months.