#TheList Jayde Melanie Ross (aka Jayde Davies), born c. 1993, of Monnow Way, Bettws, Newport NP20 – left two bearded dragons in an abandoned property
Jayde Ross pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences after leaving two bearded dragons in an empty property without appropriate heat, light, food or water. Very sadly, one of the animals perished.
The RSPCA was contacted after the bearded dragons – one male, and one female – were found abandoned at the property, “in a shocking state”.
One was severely emaciated while the other had suspected renal disease, parasitic infections and conjunctivitis.
The reptiles have complex needs, including a high requirement for heat and UVB lighting.
The RSPCA said the lizards’ condition suggested they had been without necessary food and water for some time.
One of the bearded dragons had to be put to sleep due to the extent of his injuries, while the other was transferred to a specialist wildlife centre for rehoming.
Sophie Daniels, RSPCA Inspector, said: “We found these poor bearded dragons in a shocking state – with one barely moving as a consequence of her condition; and both appearing very lethargic, depressed and with their bones prominent.
“Bearded dragons have very complex needs – and Wales’ cool climate means heating facilities are essential. Leaving these animals without heat placed them in grave danger, and it beggars belief that more effort had not been made to retrieve these animals or make sure they were safe after the tenant left the property.
“Owning pets is a privilege – but what we saw here was a derelict of duty that sadly resulted in one bearded dragon losing his life; and another suffering unnecessarily for a prolonged period of time.
“Thankfully, it wasn’t too late for the other lizard – but this sad case is a stark reminder as to the complex needs these animals have; and the responsibilities of owners to meet those needs.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £821 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for just three years.
#TheList badger baiters Christian Adam Latcham, born 02/09/87, of Cymmer Road, Porth CF39 9BE, Jamie Richard Rush, born 13/03/92 of Church View, Talgarth, Brecon LD3 0DG, Cyle Jones, born 09/11/87, of Cwrt Tarrell, Newgate Street, Brecon, Powys LD3 8ED, and Tomas/Thomas Young, born c. 1993, of East Pentwyn, Blaina, Abertillery, Monmouthshire NP13
Latcham, Jones, Rush and Young were caught badger baiting by an undercover journalist working for BBC Wales. All four denied the charges against them, but were found guilty following a trial.
The four men loaded a pick-up van with shovels and dogs to go to a “pre-arranged” location to dig for badgers in the countryside.
Prosecutor Jon Tarrant said: “They were attempting to take a badger.”
The group did not know they had been joined by the undercover investigator – known as John.
Giving evidence, a BBC researcher said Young introduced him to three other men before they set off on the hunt on March 24, 2018.
He said: “The discussions were that Thomas, Christian and two other individuals were going to West Wales to a pre-designated location and that they were going to be digging for badgers.”
He added that the men met at Latcham’s house where he had a garage transformed into “kennels” – with cages and dogs.
They then set off from the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, to Llanddewi Velfrey in Pembrokeshire.
The undercover investigator said the men discussed that they would “dig for billies/badgers” on the journey.
He said when the men arrived at a field they donned “wellies and country wear” and put collars on the dogs to track their whereabouts.
He said: “They explained to me what would happen when they put the dogs down into the tubes, as they called it. Into the set.
“They explained about monitoring the dog in the ground.”
The court heard that when the dog stopped underground the men began to dig.
He added: “When it stopped I was told that was when we would dig down.
“When we dug down there wasn’t anything with that dog.
“We repeated this cycle for a number of hours.”
The court heard that larger dogs were brought to the holes “in readiness” to attack the badgers.
One hole was so deep that Latcham’s head could not be seen above the ground as he stood in it.
Christian Latcham has 12 previous convictions for 24 offences, including for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Cyle Jones has 13 previous convictions for 18 offences, including animal cruelty.
Rush has eight previous convictions for nine offences and has previously been sentenced to two years in prison.
Of the four defendents only Rush gave evidence during the four day trial in front of District Judge Neil Thomas.
Judge Thomas said: “I have no difficulty coming to the unreserved conclusion, that he was not telling the truth.”
When Cyle Jones was taken away, someone in the public gallery shouted “keep your head up love”, he was previously jailed in June 2019 for 18 weeks after admitting unnecessary cruelty to animals, relating to two dogs who were injured.
Sentencing: Latcham was jailed for 26 weeks, Jones and Rush for 22 weeks. Tomas Young was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months and will be subject to a curfew between 9 pm and 6 am. Young and Jones are already banned from keeping dogs for life and Latcham has an indefinite ban following a 2011 cruelty conviction.
#TheList Edward ‘Eddie’ George Bath, born 04/06/1961, of 97 Arrael View, Abertillery NP13 1SU – for failure to care for a large number of horses, goats and poultry.
Bath pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA found significant failings in his care of 42 horses at a farm in Old Blaina Road, Abertillery
Two horses were found collapsed and were sadly put to sleep on the advice of a vet.
RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “Sadly these animals were not cared for appropriately.
“The horses outside were not given enough food and were not provided for. The stables were filthy and it was just appalling to see these numbers of animals poorly being cared for.”
Inspector McNeil added: “We issued warnings to improve the conditions at the premises, which included a large number of horses, two goats and poultry.
“Sadly this advice was not taken on board and in March we returned and through a warrant, we removed 37 horses. One of these horses was put to sleep due to its condition on the advice of a vet. On this occasion, we also removed 20 poultry and two goats – one of which was pregnant.”
All animals are now signed over to the RSPCA and are being placed into the rehoming process.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence for each offence (to run concurrently) suspended for 18 months; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £1,675 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Lisa Maria Rayner, born 29/01/1982, of Pontnewydd Walk, Cwmbran NP44 -allowed her pet shih-tzu to become emaciated
Rayner pleaded guilty to one animal welfare offence in relation to a shih-tzu type dog named Buster, who was found to be in an emaciated condition.
RSPCA inspector Izzi Hignell said: “When I found this poor little guy he was in an emaciated condition. He looked thin but as he is really fluffy you can’t really tell how bad his condition was. But when I felt him he was skeletal to touch. He weighed just 4.85 kilos. There was just no excuse for leaving him in this poor condition.
“Since he has been fed appropriately and has been wormed he has put on weight and is now around double the size and is looking really healthy. He is such a lovely little dog and now following this outcome of this case, he will soon be made available for rehoming. He now weighs a healthy 8.950 kilos.
Buster is currently at RSPCA Newport Animal Centre and once he is ready for rehoming his details will be uploaded to Find A Pet.
Sentencing: ordered to pay £600. Deprivation order for Buster. Banned from keeping animals for just three years.
#TheList Doris Nartey, born c. 1965, of Capel Crescent, Newport NP20 – for a catalogue of cruelty towards two dogs
Ghanaian national Doris Nartey pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences involving a starving Staffy named Rosie, who was described by an RSPCA inspector as a “bag of bones”, and a neglected French bulldog called Boss.
In January 2019 RSPCA inspectors found Rosie tied to the stairs of a property in an emaciated body condition and Boss in a dog crate in the property with no food, water or bedding. Boss was also below normal body condition.
In an interview with the RSPCA the defendant said Rosie had not been to the vets as the weather has been bad and was tied to the stairs as she jumps up at her. Both dogs were in the care of Nartey.
RSPCA inspector Emma Smith said: “It is clear that both of these dogs had been neglected and their needs were not being met. I was just completely shocked when I saw Rosie in such an emaciated condition and tied to the stairs. She was just skin and bones – it was heartbreaking to see.
“When Rosie was taken out of the house, she drank eagerly from a pool of rainwater – she clearly was extremely thirsty. The dogs were immediately taken to a vets and following an examination Rosie was found to be dehydrated, had sores on her feet and was emaciated.
“The vet said she would have been suffering for four weeks due to her poor bodily condition. Boss’s needs were also not met due to his poor bodily condition.”
Rosie and Boss were placed on a specialised veterinary diet in RSPCA care for weight gain and were successfully rehomed from RSPCA Newport Animal Centre to a forever home together.
Nartey, who has an adult daughter named Cintia Nartey and an adult son Rio Nartey, (it’s not known whether they still live with her but Cintia has photos of Boss on her Facebook), was said to be remorseful for her actions.
Sentencing: fine, costs and charges totalling £610. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.
#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 Philip James Ellis, born c. 1977, of 5 Beaumaris Houses, Cwmbran NP44 8HX – failed to provide urgent veterinary care for his pet Staffy, who was riddled with fleas, had chronic ear disease and serious skin problems.
Ellis pleaded guilty to two Animal Welfare Act offences at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 7, 2019.
The RSPCA was contacted after reports that the dog, named Troy, had been seen with a nasty flea infestation.
Officers from the charity attended the property in September 2018 with Gwent Police, and found Troy with fur loss to his back end and tail, swollen ears and with his head shaking vigorously.
Veterinary inspection later confirmed that Ellis’ failure to ensure necessary treatment, care and attention for his dog’s flea infestation and skin disease caused suffering unnecessarily.
Ellis also admitted failing to meet the needs of Troy by ensuring adequate or effective veterinary attention for this problem.
The dog’s skin problems were also causing intense itching; but by the second week of treatment after veterinary intervention, improvements and response to treatment were already evident.
Troy is now in the care of the RSPCA, with animal centre staff working tirelessly to support behavioural challenges and make him ready for rehoming in the future.
Elaine Spence, RSPCA chief inspector for South East Wales, said: “Owning an animal is a privilege – but this man’s failure to ensure appropriate veterinary care meant that was clearly not appreciated in this case.
“A simple visit to the vet could have spared Troy such a difficult time.
“Sadly, the state of his flea infestation and skin problems were very serious and vets were clear that suffering had taken place as a result.
“Troy’s ear disease was advanced, and the clinical signs were severe enough that – shockingly – permanent damage to the ear canals is a distinct possibility.
“The owner should have sought veterinary advice, and it is unacceptable he failed to do so for so long.
“Thankfully, this Staffordshire bull terrier is now in RSPCA care, and we’re working tirelessly to ensure this dog can go up for rehoming in the future and get a second chance of happiness.”
Sentencing: Total of £235 fines, costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping any animal for five years.
#TheList Gareth Lewis of 3 Snail Creep Terrace, Cwmavon, Pontypool NP4 8XE – failed to treat a painful, infected wound on his dog’s body
Gareth Lewis, who is in his 50s, pleaded guilty to causing the dog to suffer unnecessarily at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court.
He failed to suitably treat an infected wound on the body of his Staffordshire bull terrier, named Cass, instead claiming he was treating the abscess himself with antiseptic spray.
RSPCA Cymru was alerted when members of the public noticed Cass with an open wound to the shoulder and neck area. The charity learned that an abscess on the dog had burst in November 2016.
The animal had then been given pain relief by vets, who recommended the collection of pus be removed, or the dog be given further veterinary care. The RSPCA gave the owner a free voucher for veterinary treatment to help the dog – something he opted not to use.
Lewis instead claimed he had opted to treat the wound himself using antiseptic spray; treatment the RSPCA have said was “wholly inappropriate” and which led the dog to suffer.
The lump has now been removed from the dog’s neck, and he has been safely rehomed – and renamed Taz – via the RSPCA’s Newport Animal Centre on Hartridge Farm Road.
RSPCA inspector Emma Smith said: “This poor Staffordshire bull terrier has suffered because his owner failed to ensure he was given the veterinary treatment he so badly needed.
“A nasty, painful infected wound in the dog’s neck and shoulders needed urgent care – but despite recommendations in November 2016 that it would need to be removed, Cass’ owner failed to help his dog.
“Multiple attempts to work with the owner – including the provision of a free veterinary voucher – sadly failed; given his refusal to give this poor dog the help he so desperately needed.
“Claims that the dog was being treated with antiseptic spray are wholly inappropriate, and we’re just relieved we were able to intervene in time to help this poor dog, who now – having been rehomed from the RSPCA’s Newport Animal Centre – has a second chance of forever home happiness, with his new name Taz.
“This case highlights the importance of ensuring appropriate veterinary treatment is given to pets. People have important legal responsibilities towards their animals – and Taz’s ordeal highlights the potential consequences if these are not adhered to.”
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence – suspended for twelve months. 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £415 fines and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for ten years (expires April 2028).
#TheList Graham Thomas, born c. 1962, of 11 Rowan Place, Rhymney, Tredegar NP22 5DT – hung a border collie from a tree and lied that the dog had done it himself
Gypsy traveller Graham Thomas was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a Welsh border collie named Prince by hanging him by his neck with a rope from a tree in August 2017.
Three witnesses called the RSPCA after seeing the incident in the area of a farm in Rhymney.
Thomas told the court it was an accidental death, and said the dog had ran up the tree with a 20-ft piece of rope attached to his neck which became twisted around the tree.
Thomas said by the time he reached the tree, the dog had died.
Witnesses told the RSPCA that before the incident happened, they had seen Thomas shouting and swearing at Prince.
Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Emma Smith said: “This is such an unusual and disturbing case where a sheepdog was killed by his owner allegedly because he wouldn’t round up his sheep properly.
“Prince would have suffered immensely which resulted sadly in his death. This deliberate cruelty is just so horrific to fathom.
“Following the incident his body was then removed by the defendant and burnt. It must have been extremely distressing for the witnesses to have seen this.
“We are very grateful to them for reporting it to us and assisting with our investigations.”
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence. Total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs and sheep for life.
#TheList Paul James, born 25/05/1961, of 56 Arrael View, Abertillery NP13 1ST – wrapped his poorly dog in an old carpet and dumped him at the roadside
James pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences at Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court on 24/04/2017.
These included an offence of failing to meet the needs of the dog – named Max – after he was dumped in a deteriorating physical condition near Fochriw Mountain, on August 12, 2016. The dog was found by a member of the public and later put down on welfare grounds.
James also admitted to causing the dog unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary care and attention for a severely infected right ear, and for signs of illness.
RSPCA Cymru, who identified the dog’s owner after a social media appeal, say the case highlights the potential consequences of abandoning injured animals.
RSPCA inspector, Annie Simmonds, said: “It was heartbreaking that in this dog’s moment of need, instead of companionship and compassion, his owner chose to dump him like this, to die alone and suffering.
“We are grateful to the public for their support, following our initial appeal for information.”
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence for each offence, suspended for 12 months and to run concurrently. Ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £515. Banned from keeping any animal for the rest of his life.