Tag Archives: North West England

North West England

Wallasey, Wirral: Michael Bennett and Susan Jones

#TheList Michael Esmond Bennett, born 10/12/1955, and Susan Jones, born c. 1959, of Beechwood Avenue, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 8NX – let their elderly shih-tzu’s fur become so matted she was unable to walk properly

Molly when she was first rescued by RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes

Molly when she was first rescued by RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes

Bennett and Jones pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a 12-year-old shih-tzu called Molly.

The dog was rescued by the RSPCA after an anonymous report was received concerning the dog’s welfare.

Mike Bennett and his partner Sue Jones failed in their duty of care to their pet shih-tzu

Inspector Anthony Joynes was then sent to investigate on October 2, 2018 and said that he was ‘shocked’ by the terrible state she had been left in.

Insp Joynes said: “We received a report about the dog’s condition following a fire in the street, which meant the house where she lived was evacuated, and a concerned member of the public spotted her poor condition.

“When I went to the property I was so shocked – I honestly could not tell where her mouth was and where her back end was.

“Then I picked her up and could see weeks of faeces stuck in her matted fur at the back.

“The matting was so bad round her paws it meant she struggled to walk and there was a chin strap matt around her mouth which meant she was unable to open it properly which would have made eating and drinking very difficult.

“The fur growth had also caused a chronic eye condition which was also causing the dog a lot of discomfort.

“She also had a bad case of fleas which she was unable to scratch

“It was the worst case of matting I have seen in my nine years as an inspector.”

The couple signed to dog over into the care of the RSPCA and Molly was taken to Upton Veterinary Surgery for emergency treatment.

On assessment, staff could see Molly was unable to walk properly because her fur had grown around her front paw pad – making it grow the wrong way.

The team got through three sets of clipper blades to cut off two kilograms of her matted coat.

After five hours of shaving, Molly was found to have a deformed front paw but an x-ray revealed her back legs were in a good condition.

Molly has recovered in the care of the RSPCA and has been rehomed.

Insp Joynes added: “We were really worried that under all the matted fur we may find more serious concerns.

“Often in these cases the matting can cut off circulation which can result in multiple limb amputation.

“We didn’t know if this would be the case for Molly and fortunately it wasn’t.”

In mitigation, the court was told that the couple had ill health and were struggling to cope with the dog.

They had an appointment booked with the PDSA charity a year before to have Molly groomed but they did not attend as they said they were ‘worried’ the dog would get taken off them.

Sentencing: Three-month curfew; £200 costs each; 15-year ban on keeping animals.

Wirral Globe
BBC News

Skelmersdale, Lancashire: Gary Chadwick

#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

Kitten killer Gary Chadwick outside court.

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.

Liverpool Echo

Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire: Yvonne McAllister

#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

Yvonne McAllister kept Bobby in a filthy cage riddled with fleas and failed to take him to the vet for treatment for his painful skin condition.
Yvonne McAllister kept Bobby in a filthy cage riddled with fleas and failed to take him to the vet for treatment for his painful skin condition.

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’.

Bobby had to be put to sleep to end his immense suffering caused by Yvonne McAllister’s long-term neglect of him.

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.

Metro

Lancaster, Lancashire: Andrew John Rooney

#TheList Andrew John Rooney, born c. 1973, of 26 Mayfield Avenue, Lancaster LA1 2NY – found with two dogs, a cat, a budgie, a hamster and a guinea pig in breach of a 1997 ban on keeping animals.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.
Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney admitted breaching the lifelong disqualification between January 17, 2016, and July 17, 2018, by keeping two dogs, known as Shadow and Max, a cat known as Magic, alongside a bird, hamster and guinea pig.

Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney breached a previous ban.

Rooney pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to one of the dogs, a Labrador, by failing to seek adequate veterinary treatment for her skin condition between February and April 27, 2018.

Sentencing:
14 -week jail term, suspended for two years; rehabilitation activity requirement; 150 hours of unpaid work. Total of £615 costs and charges.

Lancashire Post

Bury, Greater Manchester: Kirsty Hamilton

#TheList Kirsty Hamilton, born c. 1984, of 15 Martin Street, Bury BL9 7SF – left an emaciated Arab mare with a severe hoof infection

Neglected Arab mare Blossom and her cruel former owner Kirsty Hamilton from Bury.
Neglected Arab mare Blossom and her cruel former owner Kirsty Hamilton from Bury.

Hamilton pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to meet the needs of Arab mare Blossom, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The RSPCA was contacted by a member of the public who was concerned about Blossom, kept at stables at Nook Farm, Nook Lane, Tyldesely, Astley. On investigating, the mare’s bodyweight was rated one, the lowest on a scale of one to nine, and a vet found she had a bad case of thrush in all her hooves.

Inspector Danni Jennings, said: “The horse was clearly in an emaciated state and had other problems which had not been dealt with such as overgrown teeth.

“The infection in her hooves was awful and was caused by her standing in faeces in a dark and damp stable block for a long period of time.”

Kirsty Hamilton with boyfriend Joe Cannon. Cannon is from a notorious family of travellers.
Kirsty Hamilton with boyfriend Joe Cannon. Cannon is from a notorious family of travellers, who deal in horses and also raffle them on social media.

In mitigation the court heard that Hamilton had personal problems and was pregnant.

Blossom was taken for treatment and is now in the care of the charity.

Sentencing: 12-month community order; curfew order; total of £1,585 costs and charges. Banned from keeping equines for just one year.

Leigh Journal

Atherton, Wigan: Aithne and John Declan Ashurst-O’Shaughnessy

#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

Brother and sister John Declan Ashurst O'Shaughnessy and Aithne Ashurst O'Shaughnessy

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.

Horses neglected by Aithne Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy and brother John Declan Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy, both of Atherton Wigan

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.

Horses neglected by Aithne Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy and brother John Declan Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy, both of Atherton Wigan

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.

Horses neglected by Aithne Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy and brother John Declan Ashurst-O'Shaughnessy, both of Atherton Wigan

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.

Wigan Today

Little Hulton, Manchester: Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas

#TheList Laura Kiseliova, born 14/06/1979, and Raimondas Titas, born 13/03/1981, formerly of Ladywell Avenue, Manchester M38, but believed to have fled to their native Lithuania – imported and sold sick ‘designer’ pets 

Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas outside court and images of puppies they kept in squalor at their home.

Lithuanians Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas kept sick dogs and cats in filthy, cramped cages to sell for thousands of pounds.

They set up an online “puppy farm” called Pets313 and encouraged customers to buy popular breeds like pugs and french bulldogs.

However, when customers went to the couple’s house in Salford, Greater Manchester they were quickly persuaded to take the pets home, unaware that the canines hadn’t received vital injections or veterinary care.

And when they arrived home, the dogs suddenly became ill and lethargic after having been kept in dire conditions in small cages or crates in a garage.

Despite buyers being told they were receiving British-bred pups, they were actually getting Eastern European dogs that had travelled over to the UK on a Pet Passport bought by the Lithuanian couple.

Photo shows pedigree cats in a cramped cage.
Pedigree cats were also found at the property.
Poorly cat found at the property
Photo shows poorly cat.
Many of the cats were in very poor condition.
Some of the dogs were found with sores and scabs on their bodies

Some of the dogs were found with sores and scabs on their bodies

The pair were sentenced to years behind bars at Manchester Crown Court in their absence, as they fled abroad before the hearing on Thursday 13/12/2018. 

They had previously pleaded guilty to a total of 29 charges, including several animal welfare offences.

RSPCA inspectors, police and trading standards found 41 dogs and eight cats when they searched their previous home in Prestwich on November 18, 2013.

They discovered the pair were trafficking dogs under the pet passport scheme, and selling them to members of the public under the company name Pets 313 Ltd.

Officers also found more than 40 pet passports which didn’t match the dogs at the property, suggesting they were passing off trafficked dogs as those bred in the UK.

The dogs who were found included French bulldogs and pugs, as well as pedigree cats, which were being sold for between £800 and £1,000 each.

The pair were charged with a number of offences, including failing to provide them with a suitable environment, and failing to provide veterinary care.

Raimondas Titas and Laura Kiseliova during an earlier court appearance. They have now fled to their native country of Lithuania.

One of the RSPCA investigators leading the operation, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The front room of the property was being used to sell the animals to members of the public but it was when you entered the rest of the house the scale of this operation became apparent.

“There were cages and pens containing different breeds of dogs in almost every room including a litter of puppies in a filthy ensuite bathroom upstairs. In a large garage at the back we found cages of animals stacked on top of each other.

“It was clear there were some cats and puppies that needed immediate veterinary treatment and sadly two of the puppies that were rushed to the vets for treatment later died from parvovirus.

“There was little sign of proper isolation pens for sick animals or biosecurity measures meaning any animal that passed through this place would be at risk of catching and spreading diseases and parasites.

“This was a large money-making operation at the expense of the welfare of the animals and the unsuspecting members of public who thought they were buying healthy, happy puppies.”

RSPCA SOU Chief Insp Ian Briggs said: “It was obvious that this duo were dealing and trading in a large number of animals and that many of them were not receiving the appropriate care and veterinary attention they needed.

“Some of the animals were suffering from problems such as conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis or had sore and infected wounds.”

Most of the animals have been signed over into RSPCA care and have been rehomed.

Chief Insp Briggs added: “We have seen a concerning increase in the number of calls we are receiving about large-scale traders dealing, predominantly, in puppies.

“We are regularly appalled by the conditions we find puppies living in and the stories we hear from owners who have, just days after bringing their puppy home, held their new dog as he died in their arms from preventable diseases and infections.

“Unfortunately, a major factor in this trade is traffickers – such as this pair – bringing in poorly pups from abroad, without the right vaccinations and documents, and selling them to unsuspecting buyers here in England.”

Sentencing:
Kiseliova was sentenced to a total of four years in prison while Titas was jailed for three years and six months. Both were banned from keeping pets for life.

Manchester Evening News
The Sun

Blackpool, Lancashire: Kelly-Marie Whitaker

#TheList Kelly-Marie Whitaker, born c. 1987, of Kent Road, Blackpool, Lancashire – failed to address cause of dog’s weight loss

Whitaker was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, named Bounty, by failing to address the cause of  his weight loss.

Sentencing:  12-month community order; 25 days of drug rehabilitation; total fines and costs of £195. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Blackpool Gazette

Carnforth, Lancashire: Joe Whittam

#TheList Joe Whittam, born 07/06/1990, of Langdale Road, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9AU – set his dogs on a pet cat and fox; failed to provide vet treatment for his injured dogs

Two photos of convicted animal abuser Joe Whittam from Carnforth, Lancashire.
Joe Whittam from Carnforth was jailed after filming “blood-curdling” videos of his dogs killing a cat and fox

Joseph Whittam, who also uses the surname Riding, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to encouraging his two dogs to attack a cat and a fox, as well as failing to provide veterinary attention for the dogs themselves.

The RSPCA joined Lancashire Constabulary to execute a warrant at Whittam’s address in August 2017 after intelligence that suggested he was involved in wildlife crimes with his two dogs.

The dogs – a terrier called Rex and a lurcher called Zip – were removed by police and placed into the RSPCA’s care. A mobile phone was also seized and investigators discovered a number of shocking videos saved on the phone.

RSPCA special investigation officer Jason Bowles said: “In one video, the two dogs are going crazy, barking and snapping at the mesh of a trap with a black and white domestic cat inside.

“In a second video, the cat is released along with the dogs and the dogs grab the cat and literally start to rip it apart while the cat screams and cries in pain. It is horrific and absolutely blood-curdling. Many of our staff here at the RSPCA haven’t been able to stomach watching it.

“One of the magistrates had to leave court after watching the sickening footage.

“The cat was killed although we never found the body and never traced the poor cat’s owners.”

He added: “In another video, the dogs can be seen attacking and biting a fox. In all the footage Whittam can clearly be heard encouraging the dogs and egging them on.”

Rex and Zip both had old injuries – thought to be caused by their attacks – which had not been treated. They received veterinary care and remain in the RSPCA’s care. They will be rehomed once the case has concluded.

Further analysis of Whittam’s phone uncovered images of a dog being encouraged to attack a gerbil and still images of the fox attack which show the animal being baited by the dog.

Whittam claimed the fox had been shot and injured before his dogs got hold of it.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Sgt James Pinder said: “This investigation began as a result of community information in relation to animal welfare and poaching offences.

“I hope the investigation clearly demonstrates that we will work with our partner agencies and will deal with offenders in a robust manner.

“The sentence, which marks the end of a 16-month investigation, is welcomed by Lancashire Constabulary and we hope it will send a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to partake in these criminal activities.”

Sentencing Whittam at Preston Magistrates’ Court, the chairman of the bench said the offences were sustained, deliberate and gratuitous

Sentencing:
Jailed for 22 weeks; ordered to pay a total of £490. Disqualified from keeping animals for life. 

Westmorland Gazette

Workington, Cumbria: Richard Blair-Forster

#TheList Richard Blair-Forster, born 26/12/1995, of 2x Walker Road, Workington CA14 5EX – neglected four dogs, two of whom almost died

Blair_Forster was jailed for starving four dogs and assaulting the RSPCA inspector trying to rescue them
Thug Richard Blair_Forster was jailed for starving four dogs and assaulting the RSPCA inspector trying to rescue them

Richard Blair-Forster, who lives with his mother and sister neither of whom faced charges, admitted neglecting German Shepherds Bailey, Rocco and Denver and Golden Retriever Mia.

Steven Marsh, prosecuting, told magistrates that when RSPCA Inspector Martyn Fletcher visited Blair-Forster’s home he described the dogs as lethargic and emaciated and in need of immediate medical attention.

Mr Marsh said: “The defendant refused to allow the dogs to be removed and the RSPCA inspector had to leave and request police assistance due to threats being made.”

Two of the dogs had to be carried into the veterinary surgery, Millcroft Vets, as they were unable to bear their own weight.

The examining vet found the pets to be considerably underweight, with muscle loss and suffering from dehydration. She estimated the neglect had been taking place for around two months.

Bailey only weighed 15.2 kg instead of the expected 34-43 kg when he was found. It took 25 days of medical care for him to recover before he could go to foster care. It was five days before he could hold his head up and six days before he could stand.

Another one of the German Shepherds had to be hospitalised for 12 days and given treatment such as intravenous fluids.

Mr Marsh said: “The vet said in 17 years of veterinary practice she had never seen dogs as starved as these two. The dogs have gone on to make good recovery.”

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Golden Retriever Mia has recovered thanks to the efforts of the RSPCA and their vet

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Bailey has also recovered since being taken into the care of the RSPCA

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Rocco has also made a good recovery following treatment by the RSPCA and their vet

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Looking healthier: German Shepherd Denver whom the Blair-Forster family had bred from

During a police interview, Blair-Forster told officers he “fed the dogs near-enough every day.” He also claimed he bought their food before he fed himself due to financial difficulties.

Ryan Foley, defending, told the court his client “accepts these dogs shouldn’t have been in that state in the first place, but the cause is incompetent care rather than something more nasty.”

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Richard Blair-Forster said he fed his four dogs “every other day”.

Mr Foley added the defendant struggled to cope issues in his personal life, lacked maturity and often buried his head rather than deal with problems.

Speaking after the sentencing Inspector Fletcher said: “This result shows how seriously the magistrates have taken this. If you have animals you have to take responsibility for them. Three of the dogs are already in foster care and are doing brilliantly.

“I’d like to highlight the work Millcroft vets did. When we took the first two dogs to them we told each other they were too far gone to be saved. But Millcroft did a sterling job to bring them round. They were as close to death as I’ve ever seen.”

The dogs will now be rehomed by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: 
Jailed for 16 weeks for the animal cruelty offence. He was also given two further weeks in jail for assaulting RSPCA Inspector Fletcher. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animal for 15 years.

News and Star

===