#TheList Alison Maria Chesterman, born 16/03/1965. of Victoria Street, Millom Cumbria LA18 5AS – failed to treat her pet dog’s flea infestation
Chesterman was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog, known as Doodles, who was badly affected by flea bites.
RSPCA inspectors who visited Chesterman’s home found that Doodles had extensive fur loss and his skin had become inflamed and darkened. Veterinary examination showed that he was also suffering a heart murmur, arthritis, conjunctivitis and a chronic skin condition.
He was living in an unhygienic environment which smelled of animal faeces and ammonia. Nine cats were also removed from the property
The court heard RSPCA inspectors visited the house a number of times following an anonymous tip-off and urged Chesterman to take Doodles to the vet.
Eventually, Doodles was taken to a vet by the RSPCA after inspectors found Chesterman still had not acted on urgent advice to do so.
Chesterman, who represented herself in court, said she had tried to rehome her dog so Doodles could live away from her flea-infested home but had not found anyone to take him.
Sentencing: four-week curfew. Banned from keeping any animals for just two years.
#TheList Tina Elizabeth Coles, born c. 1998, and Martin C Hessey, born c. 1980, both of Carolyn Lane Court, Blackman Way, Rugby CV21 2US – failed to get their pet cat Tigger veterinary treatment for a stomach ulcer which later perforated and led to his death.
Tina Coles and partner Martin Hessey both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their cat when they appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how three-year-old Tigger had developed a stomach ulcer but the couple failed to take him for treatment, with the ulcer perforating and killing him weeks later.
A member of the public reported the cat’s death to the RSPCA and inspector Helen Smith was sent to investigate on June 1, 2019.
Inspector Smith found Tigger’s emaciated body in a freezer at the couple’s flat. He weighed just 1.47kg when a cat of his age should weigh 4 to 4.5kg.
Inspector Smith said: “It would have been blatantly obvious that Tigger was in need of veterinary treatment but the couple failed to act.
“The stomach ulcer would have led to an obvious lack of appetite which is why Tigger was so emaciated.
“The vet said he would have suffered for at least a month and his death would have been slow and painful.
“This case really highlights how imperative if it for owners to take their pets for veterinary treatment if they show symptoms of illness. Poor Tigger was left to suffer unnecessarily.”
In mitigation, the court was told both had mental health issues which the magistrates took into account when sentencing.
Sentencing: fined £120 and also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge. Both were banned from keeping all animals for seven years.
#TheList Annie Quigley, born c. 1949, of Mallaig Road, Govan, Glasgow G51 4NH – failed to get veterinary treatment for her elderly dog’s tumour
Thirteen-year-old German shepherd Sheba had an open wound on her stomach and was unable to walk. The Scottish SPCA rescued the dog from her negligent owner, Annie Quigley, following a complaint. Sadly Sheba was too poorly and had to be euthanised by vets.
Quigley pleaded guilty to causing the dog unnecessary suffering and failing to provide adequate care.
Describing Sheba’s condition prosecutor Kevin Jarvis told the court: “There was a tumour which was bleeding and had obvious infection.”
The open wound had been there for two months. The court heard that Quigley had tried to put a bandage over it.
The pensioner was later interviewed and claimed she “didn’t think it was as bad as it is.”
Sentencing: fined £360. Banned from keeping animals for three years.
#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
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.
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.
#TheList horse abusers Tanya Michelle Taylor, born 28/04/1966, of Oak Crest, Stoney Road, Kilcot, Newent, Gloucestershire GL18 1PB, and Jeffrey Frederick Taylor, born 08/09/1968, of 10 Uxbridge Lane, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2EY
Horse Tallie was found in an appalling condition due to neglect by her owners Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor.
Tallie was treated by Three Counties Hospital for multiple health issues in December 2017 but was too poorly and had to be euthanized.
A prosecution was brought against the Taylors by Forest of Dean District Council’s legal team following an investigation and the pair were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Tallie.
In his summing up, the Magistrate said: “Tallie could not have been saved by early vet intervention, but it could have reduced her suffering.
“We find you jointly responsible for her care, and jointly responsible for failing to seek treatment for her, which caused her unnecessary suffering.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay fines totalling £1,010 and court costs of £800.No ban.
#TheList for multiple cruelty charges Jodie Annabel Fairbrother (aka Jodie Lewis), born 30/09/1978, and husband Paul Jack Fairbrother, born 10/07/1969, formerly of Immingham, Lincolnshire, but now said to be living in Nar Fokak, Cyprus, with daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother who was also initially charged.
Mother-of-four Jodie Fairbrother, whose last known UK address was Aberdovey Drive, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees TS16 9EZ admitted 10 offences of animal cruelty at 4Paws veterinary clinic – six which related to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Her husband, Paul Fairbrother, admitted three offences of animal cruelty, including one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a British bulldog and two charges relating to animal welfare.
The charges were brought by the RSPCA after it conducted one of its largest raids in March 2018 at 4Paws in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire.
More than 60 staff from multiple agencies worked throughout the day to remove 160 animals.
4Paws, which imported 4,600 dogs from overseas over a 15-month period, operated an unlicensed boarding kennels and veterinary clinic after their licence expired.
The animals were found in “abhorrent” conditions.
Some animals were left unattended in baskets and cages for up to 95 hours. Many were kept in cramped kennels with no access to food or water.
They also had untreated health conditions such as respiratory problems or ear infections and untreated wounds.
The body of a deceased dog was found at the clinic and it was later discovered the dog had distemper, a lethal viral disease.
One dog was kept in a cage for four days without food and water and then ‘euthanised’ by Fairbrother, who had no veterinary qualifications.
Three dogs had to be put to sleep and two had Brucella canisa, a serious contagious disease that can be passed onto humans. Another tested positive for distemper.
A total of 144 dogs and 16 cats were then taken in by the RSPCA and Dogs Trust.
Other charges against the Fairbrothers were dropped at an earlier hearing and all 17 charges were dropped against daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother.
The volunteer also said that the animals had been “living in their own filth” as the kennels were never cleaned properly, and the animals were never looked after, with around 80 new dogs arriving at the kennel every week.
They said: “I used to help out at the clinic and some of the things that I have seen were just disgusting.
“There were 10 to 15 dogs all into one pen, and just roaming about. There was not one bed for a dog.
“Thursday is delivery day, when they get usually around three vans full of dogs from Romania brought to the site. But the most horrible thing is to see them left outside the clinic, sometimes for over a day, just sitting in those vans howling.
“The animals are always getting out and running loose about the place.”
Other local residents hit out at the treatment of horses at the centre, saying they had been left in a field during the heat of the summer without food or water. Residents said they had intervened to feed the animals themselves claiming that clinic staff had informed them they were “too busy”.
Numerous other residents alleged that after speaking out about the conditions at 4Paws, they received threats.
Sentencing: Jodie Fairbrother – jailed for 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Paul Fairbrother – jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Both were ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge each. Both were banned from keeping or trading in animals for five years.
#TheList breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker, born c. 1957, of Raw Farm House, Byrness Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1TR – jailed for cruelty to more than 100 dogs and puppies
Stoker was found guilty of 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. Her conviction came after 107 dogs and six puppies were found living in cramped cages and with no fresh drinking water.
She had denied all charges but was found guilty after a four-day trial.
Stoker was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018.
The RSPCA told the court that “not a single dog was in a healthy condition” when they were discovered locked up in cramped cages at Stoker’s home in May 2018.
The animals were suffering from a range of untreated health problems including chronic dental disease, eye infections and hip injuries. Stoker also failed to provide them with sufficient water.
Three dogs had a level of dental disease so high it resulted in a fractured jaw, and one of them only had three teeth as all the rest had fallen out because of severe disease.
Some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.
The dog breeder claimed that her pets were never neglected and she had been doing the job for 25 years.
The pets at her home also included two cats and a tortoise.
Sentencing Stoker, district judge Bernard Begley said: “This is a particularly serious type of offence. Significant costs have been incurred.
“I really can’t find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering – some animals were euthanised.
“You have not shown a shred of remorse or contrition.”
Sentencing: jailed for 21 weeks; ordered to pay £50,000. Disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years.
#TheList Simone Maughan, born 23/06/1992, previously of Westlea in Clowne and now of 38 Scarsdale Street, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6JW – kept two starving dogs in a small cage; neglected a bearded dragon
Mother-of-three Simone Maughan pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences when she appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how she had left Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dogs Zena and Lola – mother and daughter – in a tiny cage in the kitchen of her house.
The RSPCA were alerted after a member of the public reported the starving pets.
Inspector Helen Mead arrived at the address and found the two emaciated dogs locked in the cage.
She also found a bearded dragon lizard in the living room with no light source or heat source, leaving the reptile close to death.
She immediately took the pets for emergency veterinary treatment and all have now recovered from their ordeal in RSPCA care.
Inspector Mead said: “I was really worried when I saw how frail the dogs were with all their bones protruding, they were in a very poor condition but were so friendly.
“Through normal feeding, they were able to return to their healthy body weight. But it could have been so different if this situation had been allowed to continue.
“There is no excuse not to provide the basics of food and water for pets so anyone who is struggling should ask for help at an early stage.”
In defence of Maughan, who now lives in Creswell, the court heard that she was suffering from depression at the time and was of previous good character.
Sentencing: 40 hours of unpaid work and eight-day rehabilitation order; £300 costs and a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for five years.
#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 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.