Tag Archives: untreated illness or injury

Hartlepool, County Durham: Michaela Durkin

#TheList Michaela Alison Durkin, born c. 1995, of Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool TS24 – allowed her dog to suffer with a broken leg for a month, eventually forcing vets to amputate it.

Whippet Lola was left to suffer with a broken leg for four weeks by her callous owner Michaela Durkin
Whippet Lola was left to suffer with a broken leg for four weeks by her callous owner Michaela Durkin

Durkin pleaded guilty one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between March and April 2019.

The mother-of-two lied to RSPCA inspectors claiming her whippet, Lola, had fallen down the stairs and injured her right hind leg, but appeared to “brighten up” after a couple of days.

A member of the public contacted the animal welfare charity after noticing the family pet had an “obvious and noticeable injury”. Lola was unable to put any weight on the leg and it appeared visibly swollen.

The court heardhow Durkin denied witnessing Lola falling down the stairs, but had heard a yelp. However, she claimed she could not remember the date that the dog first began holding up one leg.

Dave Dedman, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “Lola was taken to see a vet who stated she was incapable of putting any weight on the leg and it was clear there was a fracture to the femur, muscle contractures and shortening of the limb.

“She said that had occurred over a prolonged period of time. She was hospitalised on April 5, 2019, but very sadly, because of the break and because the muscle had contracted, Lola had her right hind leg amputated on April 8.”

Whippet Lola was left to suffer with a broken leg for four weeks by her callous owner Michaela Durkin

Durkin, was interviewed four days later and said she thought Lola had not been herself for a couple of days, but had perked back up and she had no reason to think Lola’s leg was broken.

Vets caring for the whippet confirmed it was impossible for the dog to have sustained the injury by falling down the stairs and said the fracture had happened at least four weeks prior to the RSPCA investigation.

Whippet Lola was left to suffer with a broken leg for four weeks by her callous owner Michaela Durkin

They instead suggested Lola’s leg had been subjected to “substantial lateral force”. The court heard allegations that the father of Durkin’s children had kicked the dog, however no charges were brought against him.

Mr Dedman concluded there had been “prolonged neglect”, adding: “It’s a very sad and there’s a high level of suffering caused to the dog, to the point where her leg had to be amputated.”

A probation report stated Durkin had significant personal and financial problems and could not afford veterinary bills.

Durkin’s solicitor, Gavin Musgrave, conceded the family pet had sustained a “horrific injury” and told the court that Lola had been signed over into the care of the RSPCA.

Mr Musgrave said: “She was a responsible dog owner and she’s had animals in the past. She’s very remorseful for the incident and she’s fearful of the consequences.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order; total of £485 fine and charges. Disqualified from owning or being in control of any animal for ten years.

Northern Echo
Teesside Live

Preston, Lancashire: Bradley Tomes

#TheList unlicensed animal trader Bradley Michael Tomes, born 27/04/1995, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston PR4 – kept dozens of exotic animals in filthy conditions and with untreated injuries

Some of the animals rescued from Bradley Tomes of Preston, Lancashire

Tomes pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act after dozens of neglected exotic animals had to be rescued by the RSPCA.

The offences relate to six iguanas; two mara (large rodents from South America); 16 peafowl; two pelicans; three agouti (a rodent native to America and South America); five porcupines; one green parakeet; two jardine parrots; one golden pheasant; one green winged macaw; one white necked raven and one cape parrot.

In January 2019 the RSPCA were called by police to a farm on Taylors Meanygate in Tarleton and found the animals being kept in squalid and unsuitable conditions. The charity then attended a second address on Moss Lane, Tarleton where a shed-type building at the back of the premises contained a number of animals.

RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “Some of these animals were species we as RSPCA inspectors of many years’ experience had never dealt with before, and it was a shock to see them kept in such conditions.

“Both locations were filthy. Many of the animals were in accommodation that was obviously completely unsuitable, did not have access to food or water, or were suffering.

“At the farm, we found two mara inside a small plastic transportation crate on the floor of one of the make-shift buildings. Mara are a large rodent who stand up on their hind legs. The height of the crate was 300mm, or just 12 inches. The depth of the crate was 560mm, and the length was 870mm giving no real room for them to move around.

“A squalid enclosure at the same location housed three agoutis, two pelican and 13 peafowl (pictured above).

“Four porcupines (pictured right) were in a pen which was wet and muddy with just a small structure for shelter – temperatures on site were close to freezing with snow and driving rain.

“At the second address a macaw was found in a black crate, similar to a dog crate. The bird’s tail feathers were touching the sides of the crate.

“The iguanas were at this location too – all six of which were in poor body condition and four had injuries to their tails.”

Two animals, an Agouti and a Mara, have subsequently died, and the court heard further dead birds and animals were discovered at the same locations but are not subject to charges, as the cause of death cannot be established.

In mitigation the court heard that Tomes had an interest in animals all of his life and had been employed as a zoo keeper.

He had signed all of the animals over in February and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had gone through a difficult break up but had now turned his life around and had a new job and new relationship.

The surviving animals have been rehomed to specialist keepers.

Sentencing: 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation days; 120 hours of community service; total of £615 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years with no appeal for two years.

Lancashire Post
RSPCA News

Blackpool, Lancashire: Nikki Haworth T/A Haworth Arabian Stud

#TheList horse breeder Nicola Jane Haworth, born 4 February 1961, of The Sycamores, Jubilee Lane, Marton, Blackpool FY5 4ER – kept horses in such squalor that 11 had to be put down

Horse abuser Nikki Haworth from Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Breeder Nikki Haworth kept her horses in such squalor that several of them had to be put down
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their heartless owner

Haworth was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to 24 horses and failing to meet the needs of 31 horses.

Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity’s inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables – some without doors or missing wooden panels.

The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
RSPCA officials found the horses in dilapidated mud-caked stables that had not had their doors opened in months.

Ms Wilde added: “The evidence shows the conditions were horrendous. Six animals were such an appalling condition they had to be put to sleep by the vet immediately.

“Five more were euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.

“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”

Some of the horses’ hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.

The remaining 20 horses were taken away for care and re-homing.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

Writing about the case, which he said was the culmination of over 10 months of hard work and dedication by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, HAPPA, Lancashire Constabulary and others, RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson said:

In September 2018 a magistrates warrant was executed and I walked onto a stable yard in Blackpool. I was horrified by the scale and level of suffering one individual could cause to so many horses.

I saw 31 horses in stables which had not had the doors opened in months. Dirty bedding was stacked half way up the doors. Once opened they wouldn’t close again because months worth of muck spilled out.

There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made the step off.

Of these horses 6 were immediately euthanised on veterinary advice to end their suffering. Since then a further 5 have been euthanised on welfare grounds. Despite reports to the contrary none of the horses were killed because the RSPCA didn’t know how to handle them. Every decision to euthanise was made on Veterinary advice using police powers.

Since that time the individual involved has offered no defence for her deplorable actions. She actually hasn’t turned up to court yet. Instead she has taken to the internet and launched a smear campaign against the RSPCA and more specifically myself. 

I personally will never lose any sleep over what she or her friends may think of me however I will always defend my charity!

Unfortunately, until this point I have been unable to respond to posts on forums, Facebook or wherever else lies have been spread due to the matter being an active case.

However with today’s verdict I can now say that the conditions at this yard were the most horrendous I have ever seen in my time investigating animal cruelty. Furthermore the severe and obvious pain visible in many of these horses was sickening.

Today the overwhelming evidence was presented to a District Judge who had no hesitation in find the defendant guilty on all charges.

Sentencing: £4,000 in legal costs; six-month curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

BBC News
Blackpool Gazette

Bedworth, Warwickshire: Katy Liggins and James Johnson

#TheList Katy Liggins and James Johnson, ages unknown, both of Smercote Close, Bedworth CV12 0EB – left their dogs suffering from chronic skin conditions for months.

Convicted dog abusers Katy Liggins and James Johnson
Katy Liggins and James Johnson

Katy Liggins and partner James Johnson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Staffies Diesel and Roxy by failing to explore and address their chronic skin condition.

RSPCA inspectors were called to the couple’s home having been tipped off by a member of the public.

Before and after pictures of neglected dogs Diesel and Roxy
Before and after pictures of neglected dogs Diesel and Roxy

Investigating Inspector Helen Smith said: “When I first saw Diesel it was obvious he was in dire need of veterinary attention. He was constantly trying to scratch himself and his skin was so thick it was like that of an elephant.

“He has red sores which were weeping and it was clear he was suffering. Roxy was displaying similar symptoms.

“In my 20 years as an RSPCA inspector Diesel had one of the worst skin conditions caused by a flea infestation I have seen.

“Both pets must have been endlessly suffering trying to relieve their itchy skin. “

The RSPCA inspector went on: “The vet said they would have been suffering like this for months – which is so unnecessary as fleas are easily preventable with routine treatment.

“If pets do get fleas, veterinary treatment should be sought immediately so they don’t have to suffer needlessly for such a long period of time.”

In mitigation, the court heard the couple were suffering from financial difficulties.

The court ordered both Diesel and Roxy should be placed in the care of the RSPCA where they will be rehabilitated and re-homed.

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; 100 hours of unpaid work and 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Total of £250 costs and charges each. Five-year ban on keeping animals.

Coventry Telegraph
ITV News

Helsby, Cheshire: Shirley Miller

#TheList Shirley Miller, born c. 1960, of Swireford Road, Helsby WA6 9BA – let her horse suffer after refusing to get him treatment for cancer

RSPCA said that Shirley Miller's cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.
RSPCA said that Shirley Miller’s cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.

At a three-day trial, Miller was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a 23-year-old horse called Bradley.

The court heard how the horse had a large tumour on his penis which she failed to seek veterinary attention for – and a veterinary witness believed he was left untreated for 12 to 18 months.

Bradley’s suffering was noticed on the day that Miller had loaned him to a woman to be his new owner in August 2018.

The new owner realised immediately there was something wrong with the horse and a vet attended.

The vet advised the new owner to contact the RSPCA and Inspector Leanne Cragg was sent to investigate on August 15.

Leanne said the vet found the cancerous tumour to be 10cm long and 8cm wide.

The tumour had been left untreated for so long that maggots were also visible. The vet said he believed Bradley had been left untreated for between 12 to 18 months and the tumour was inoperable.

Miller had denied causing unnecessary suffering by failing to seek veterinary attention and said she checked the horses daily but had no idea that Bradley had any health issues.

Leanne said: “Poor Bradley must have lived in agony for at least 12 months – even urinating would have caused him horrendous pain.

“The court was of the view that any reliable and competent owner would have noticed the suffering.

“It was clear he was in discomfort and there was a horrendous smell caused by tumour and maggots had infested it, which must have been almost unbearable for him.

“After hearing from expert veterinary witnesses the district judge was satisfied Miller would have known about the health issue.”

Bradley was seized by the RSPCA and was cared for by his new owner until a vet decided in October he was suffering so much the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £9,850 costs and a £1,500 fine. Banned from keeping equines for just three years (suspended for six weeks so that she can make arrangements for eight other horses currently in her care).

Horse and Hound
CheshireLive

Fairfield, Liverpool L6: Christina Carney

#TheList Christina Carney, born c. 1981, of Ottley Street, Liverpool L6 3AL – starved and neglected a young puppy who had to be put to sleep

Tank was brought to the vet in an emaciated state due to the neglect of his callous owner Christina Carney
Tank was brought to the vet in an emaciated state due to the neglect of his callous owner Christina Carney

A six-month-old British bulldog named Tank had to be put down after horrific neglect by his owner, Christina Carney, left him with “every bone in his body” sticking out.

Neglected puppy Tank had a severe wound on his right ear
Tank had a severe wound on his right ear

Shocking pictures show the dog also suffered bite wounds to his right leg which was swollen and had scarring over his face and neck. Behind his left ear were visible wounds but behind his right ear was a severe wound which had ripped through the ear flap

Sadly, Tank was unable to recover and three separate vets decided he should be put to sleep to end his suffering.

Another of Carney’s pets – 18-month-old pug Bear – died while in her care and was said to be in a “very thin” state when she brought his body to experts to be disposed of.

Vets got in touch with the RSPCA with worries about the welfare of Carney’s other animals.

Inspector Claire Fisher was sent to investigate and went to see Tank at the vets where she found “every bone in his body” was protruding.

British bulldog puppy Tank was in an emaciated condition due to the neglect of his cruel owner Christina Carney from Liverpool
The dog’s condition was so poor that vets felt they had no option but to put him to sleep

Claire said: “Tank was in a very sorry state when I saw him, he was so thin with every bone visible he did not resemble a British bulldog at all – he was like a walking skeleton.

“He had numerous injuries of various ages caused by being attacked by other dogs in Carney’s care and he appeared depressed, not like I would expect a puppy to act.

“The vet felt that returning Tank to his home would put him in danger of attack again.

“The body of Bear was also analysed and it was clear the dog was also very thin and had numerous ulcers in her eyes. Carney offered no explanation how or when the dog had died but for her young age she seemed in poor condition

“It was known that Carney also had two more dogs at her home and we were concerned there was also a risk of injury of life to those so Merseyside Police were contacted and were able to seize the dogs and place them into the care of the RSPCA.”

The police took two British bulldogs called Teddy and Roxy from Carney’s home and they are now in the care of the RSPCA where they have been rehabilitated and will be available for adoption soon.

Carney pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences .

In mitigation the court was told Carney had “difficult personal circumstances”.

Sentencing: 12-month community order; ordered to pay £300 costs, a £100 fine and a £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs and cats for just five years.

Liverpool Echo

Ashbrooke, Sunderland: Daniel Churchill

#TheList Daniel Churchill, born c. 1994, of Riversdale Terrace, Sunderland SR2 – forced his lurcher, Drift, to attack wild animals and then failed to treat the dog’s painful injuries.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland and his victim, Drift. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.
Daniel Churchill from Sunderland used lurcher Drift to hunt wild animals and failed to treat the dog’s injuries sustained in fights.

Gypsy traveller Churchill was facing a potential jail sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher known as Drift after failing to treat injuries the dog sustained in forced fights with wild animals.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.
Daniel Churchill pictured outside court.

The offences came to light after Drift was found wandering the streets in November 2018 and was taken to a vet.

He had cuts on his face, neck, legs and body, and his injuries were consistent with a fight with another animal, such as a fox.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.

Churchill pleaded guilty to two offences at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood said Churchill rang the vet to claim ownership of the dog but was told Drift had been seized by police and an investigation had been launched.

He claimed Drift had escaped from his kennel the night before he was found in the streets.

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland forced his lurcher-type dog Drift to attack wild animals and then failed to treat his injuries.

Mr Haywood said a vet examined the pet and found scratch wounds to the shoulder, legs and face. Some scratches were three to four days old, while other injuries were up to 48 hours old.

He added: “Some were consistent with injuries you would expect to see on animals that had a fight with another animal, such as a fox.”

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Churchill from Sunderland. Churchill used his dog to hunt wild animals.

During the investigation, it was found the defendant’s Facebook account had references and pictures glorifying the hunting of animals with dogs. One photo was of a dog chasing a fox, another of a dog with a fox biting it and one image showed a dead fox.

My Haywood said: “The defendant was clearly glorifying the hunting of animals with dogs on there.

“This is a case where there’s clearly high culpability. The defendant is clearly deliberately causing suffering to his dog by using him in the hunting of animals.

“The injuries were consistent with it being attacked by another animal.”

The court was told that Drift had now been rehomed.

Tom Morgan, defending Churchill, said: “The pictures from the Facebook account – the defendant says they were in fact from a disused Facebook account.

“He did not and does not accept that those pictures depict the animal in this case.

“The defendant’s only concern throughout these proceedings, whether you can believe this or not, has been the animal.

“He has made efforts to try and retrieve the dog. He accepts by way of guilty plea that he has not been caring for the animal as he should be. He has to accept he will not get that animal back.”

Mr Morgan further said his client was “capable of being rehabilitated”.

“I do believe that he has learnt his lesson”, he added.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years; completion of a rehabilitation programme. Costs of £500. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

ChronicleLive

Grosmont, North Yorkshire: Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly

#TheList Mandy Allinson, born c. 1967, and Michael Connolly, born c. 1963, both of Fotherley Farm, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5QJ – kept dogs and cats in “squalid and horrific” conditions

Puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Animals in the care of Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly lived in their own excrement in a filthy barn at their farm near Whitby.

The pair admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.

Police and RSPCA inspectors were alerted to the farm after a number of people bought puppies which fell ill or were found to be riddled with worms or fleas.

And they discovered dozens of animals being kept in appalling conditions at what was found to be an unregistered, unlicensed business.

A dog in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like “a big ball of fur”.

He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.

Dogs in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard that the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and depression.

Speaking after the hearing RSPCA Inspector Claire Little, who led the investigation, said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public who had bought puppies from the premises and, once home, they’d fallen ill or their new families had discovered they were riddled with fleas and worms.

“This couple were running an unregistered, unlicensed business breeding dogs and they were not properly protecting the dogs’ welfare and health.”

When officers raided the property they found 40 dogs and puppies, three cats and a guinea pig at the address. All of the animals were removed.

“The puppies were all being kept inside the house while the adult dogs were kept out in a barn,” Inspector Little added.

“It was cold, dark, dank and filthy in the barn. Some dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages stacked on top of each other, while other dogs were in disgusting kennels covered in dirt and faeces. It absolutely stank inside the barn, it was hell.

“The dogs were yellow with urine stains and covered in fleas. Many were riddled with worms and suffering from nasty diseases like giardia, campylobacter and coccidia.”

French bulldogs, collies, cocker spaniels, poodles and fashionable crossbreeds, such as cockerpoos, were taken into RSPCA care.

“This couple were clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of designer dogs such as cockerpoos but they were failing to meet these dogs’ basic needs and many were seriously poorly,” Inspector Little said.

“It was overcrowded, the disease control was poor and many of the dogs had matted coats and untreated open wounds. The floor was caked in faeces and water bowls were empty and upturned.

“Some had nasty skin infections and had made themselves bleed from constant scratching. One of the dogs had almost 2kg of matted fur removed.”

Grim conditions at the puppy farm run by  Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

A guinea pig was found in a cage in one barn and three cats were found running loose in another barn on the site.

Sentencing: 10-week prison term, suspended for a year. Banned from keeping cats for seven years.

Gazette Live
BBC News

Norwich: Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer, Zoe Rushmer

#TheList Norfolk puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, born 14/06/1992, his partner Zoe Rushmer, born 10/02/1993, both of Poppys Place, The Street, Norton Subcourse, Norwich NR14 6RR, and Zoe’s brother Michael Rushmer, born 09/10/1991 of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ. Also Jean Boyes, born c. 1951, of Church Farm Barns, The Street, Norwich NR14 7DW

Puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, his 'deputy' cocaine addict Michael Rushmer, and his sister Zoe Rushmer all of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Clockwise from left ringleader Jacob Murphy, his ‘deputy’ cocaine addict Michael Rushmer, and his sister Zoe Rushmer.

Greedy and callous puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer kept 74 dogs and puppies, many of whom were sick or dying, in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C.

Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Some of the puppies on the illegal puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich

The gang made £300,000 from selling dogs they claimed had been bred in a family environment.

But some of the “sickly and diseased” puppies died within days or cost their owners thousands of pounds in vet bills.

The trio admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Judge Andrew Shaw described it “as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time”.

The RSPCA, which brought the case, said the animals were kept in “disgusting conditions” at Home Farm, Low Road, Thurlton. The charity removed 74 dogs, some of which were pregnant and had 20 puppies.

Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Some of the animals suffered from the potentially fatal parvovirus but were advertised as being healthy, socialised and treated for worms and fleas.

Dogs had an average price of £675 and the defendants made £300,000 from the fraud, though they claimed it was nearer £150,000, prosecutor Hazel Stevens said.

She described how when one of the premises was raided in 2017, dogs were found in cages, some in “pitch-dark sheds with no access to light” and others “in a caravan at temperatures of up to 30C”.

Puppy farmer Michael Rushmer of Norwich
Dogs and puppies suffered so that this loser could feed his cocaine habit.

Mitigating, Andrew Oliver said Michael Rushmer was a cocaine user and “foolishly” bought dogs from travellers, which introduced parvovirus to the farm.

Michael Rushmer has been selling puppies online since at least 2012
Michael Rushmer has been selling puppies online since at least 2012
Some of the puppies sold by Michael Rushmer on Facebook
Some of the puppies sold by Michael Rushmer on Facebook

At sentencing, Judge Shaw described Murphy, who admitted three animal welfare offences, as the “ringleader”, while Michael Rushmer was “[Murphy’s] deputy if not his equal”.

The latter also admitted 10 animal welfare offences, offending while on bail, and operating a pet shop and breeding establishment without a licence.

Four kids have this for a mother …

Zoe Rushmer would meet buyers with her four children, now aged between four and 10, and was the “legitimate face” of the criminal enterprise run by her brother and her partner.

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
Eyebrows to rival Grouch Marx’s

Rushmer was said to be remorseful and admitted four animal welfare offences.

Judge Shaw told her: “It’s only your children that have spared you from going to prison.”

Jean Boyes admitted the same fraud charge but only once took a litter of seven puppies to be inoculated and received a two-year conditional discharge.

David Green had the charges against him dropped.
No smoke without fire. The charges against David Green were dropped. Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it though.

Conspiracy charges against David Green, born 09/11/69 of Homebred Lane, Loddon, Norwich NR14 6UY , and Carole Rushmer, born c. 1960, and also of Home Farm Low Road, Thurlton, were dropped in February 2019.

Conspiracy charges against Carole Rushmer, pictured far right with Zoe and Michael Rushmer, were dropped
Conspiracy charges against Carole Rushmer, pictured far right with Zoe and Michael Rushmer, were dropped

Judge Shaw said the fraud, which began as early as 2015, “strikes at the very heart of this nation’s love for its pets, dogs in particular”.

“To sell sickly and diseased dogs, so poorly that many do not survive, is about as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time,” he said.

After sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Amy Pellegrini described the farm as a “puppy factory”.

“Families thought they were buying puppies who had been bred and reared in loving family homes but in reality they had been bred in disgusting conditions with little regard for their health or welfare but simply how much money they would bring in.”

Sentencing: Jacob Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work. They were all banned from keeping animals for life. Jean Boyes was given a two-year conditional discharge.

BBC News

===
On Friday 28 June 2019 “remorseful” Zoe Rushmer was hauled back before the court after Judge Andrew Shaw became aware of disrespectful social media posts she had made about the case. In one post she was pictured wearing the balaclava she wore outside court while boasting that she would “wing it”. Another showed her gloating about her “freedom” after being given a suspended prison sentence

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
FB post by Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
Rushmer celebrates the judge’s (appalling) decision not to send her to jail.

The judge expressed concern about the balaclava photo, saying it “indicates someone who’s hoping to get away with it”.

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer was summoned back to court after  making disrespectful social media posts about the court case

Sadly he decided not to increase her sentence, telling her: “”I’m not going to further your sentence but you need to understand that I came very close to doing so.”

Rochdale, Greater Manchester: Scott Buik

#TheList Scott Andrew Buik, born 30 September 1991, of Mellor Street, Rochdale OL11 – starved two dogs and a cat to death.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Scott Andrew Buik was found guilty of four animal welfare offences.

An RSPCA investigation began after Buik took an emaciated white and brindle Staffordshire bull terrier, known as Buster, to a vet on November 12th, 2018.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Buik told the vet that Buster had become unwell that morning, but on examination it was clear the dog had been starved. He weighed just 11kg, which is around half of what a healthy dog of Buster’s breed should weigh.

The vet examined the dog and saw that he was gravely ill. He was unable to lift his head and was emaciated, with all his bones protruding.

The vet put the stricken dog to sleep to end his suffering.

Concerned that Buster’s condition was caused by neglect, the vet contacted the RSPCA and inspectors Natalie Taylor and Nina Small visited Buik’s house that afternoon.

Buik invited Inspector Taylor inside and showed her a cage where Buster had been kept in the kitchen.

Next to this was another cage covered in a pink blanket and when she touched the blanket it was so full of fleas, it was moving.

When Inspector Taylor removed the blanket she was horrified to discover the emaciated body of a Labrador-cross dog called Scarlett.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death. Photo shows body of crossbreed Scarlett.
Starved crossbreed Scarlett was skin and bone

This dog was severely underweight and her rib cage, spine, shoulders, and hip bones were prominent. It is believed she died the previous day.

Next, Buik led Inspector Taylor to the cellar of his house where she found the body of tortoiseshell female cat named Tilly. She had been dead for some time as mould was growing on her face.

Buik had claimed he had been looking after Scarlet and Tilly for friends, but while in his care the animals were left to starve.

Scott Andrew Buik from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, left two dogs and a cat to starve to death

Inspector Nina Small said in her 16-year career with the RSPCA this has been one of the most horrific cases she has come across.

She said, “It was awful to see the condition of these animals they must have suffered a long and lingering death because they were denied food.

“They were clearly kept in atrocious conditions where they were locked away and really just left to rot.

“The post mortem reports revealed pieces of plastic and metal in the dogs’ bodies so they had been so hungry they were trying to eat anything they could.

“Withholding food when it was available and leaving these animals to suffer until they died is the most callous thing imaginable.”

Sentencing: 26 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and 150 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay £1,280 costs and a victim surcharge of £115. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Oldham Chronicle
Manchester Evening News