#TheList Julie Taylor, born 02/02/1962, and son Jamie Stuart Taylor, born 18/03/1980, both most recently of Hendford Drive, Bradford BD3 0SE – locked their pet dogs in an attic and left them to die
Julie and Jamie Taylor ignored the heartrending cries of the two dogs, who suffered weeks of hunger and thirst before dying.
The rottweiler and Staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs had been kept in the attic at Julie Taylor’s house, where they were found by police decomposing with maggots and flies on their emaciated bodies.
Prosecutor Nigel Monaghan said a board had been nailed in place to stop the dogs from going down the stairs, which would have also made it “extremely difficult” for anybody to tend to the animals.
“It’s difficult without being dramatic to think of a worse case of animal cruelty,” he said.
Mr Monaghan said the RSPCA officer who visited the house had described the smell of rotting flesh getting “stronger and stronger” as he climbed up to the attic where there was no clean air, bedding, food or water.
A vet who examined the animals concluded they had died from starvation and dehydration and said: “the appalling conditions and horrendous suffering would have been obvious to any lay observer”.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by failing to provide them with an adequate diet and also admitted to failing to meet the dogs’ needs by not ensuring they were kept in a suitable environment between September 14 and October 14, 2011.
Jamie Taylor, who shouted as he was led away from court, also pleaded guilty to failing, as the dogs’ owner, to provide the animals with reasonable care and supervision.
The RSPCA had tried to contact him several times about the dogs after being called by a member of the public.
Another dog, which was in reasonable health, was being kept downstairs at the house, Mr Monaghan said.
Mr Taylor had said he could not take the dogs outside because they were too skinny, he added.
Solicitor Ian Hudson said Mr Taylor had owned the dogs for about five years but as his health deteriorated due to problems with alcohol he could no longer care for them. He had come to an understanding with his mother whereby she would house them but he would feed and exercise them, he said.
When his drink problems became worse he did not visit as often as he should have done and assumed his mother was feeding the animals.
Mrs Taylor was also in poor health and was also unable to look after the dogs, he said.
Chairman of the bench, Harry Atkinson, said: “The dogs experienced horrendous suffering before their death. The dogs were prisoners upstairs in the house and they died from prolonged neglect.
“They had no access to the rest of the house, nor to the outside world.
“Mr Taylor said he would be embarrassed to take his dogs outside because they were too skinny to be seen out walking.”
The pair were jailed by Bradford magistrates and banned for life from keeping animals.
Prosecuting, Nigel Monaghan, told the court: “It is difficult to think of a worse case of animal cruelty than this.
“A board of slats was nailed in place to stop the dogs, which were in the attic, from getting out and going down the stairs.”
Sentencing: jailed for four months. Banned from keeping animals for life.
Update March 2020: we have been advised that Julie Taylor died in September 2019. The current whereabouts of Jamie Taylor are unknown.