#TheList Susan Ross, born 1955, and son James F Ross, born c. 1989, both of Kingsley Avenue, Whitley Bay NE25 8RX – failed to seek medical care for their flea-ridden cat and poorly cockatiel
The RSPCA prosecuted mother and son Susan and James Ross after their cockatiel, Eddie, and tabby cat Roxy were found to be in dire need of vet treatment
Roxy, who was around six years old, was covered in fleas and had developed a skin condition which caused clumps of her fur to fall out.
Eddie was discovered lying at the bottom of his cage covered in his own faeces.
Denise Jackman, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that the cat was found to have an infestation of large adult fleas which had led to an irritating skin disease and fur loss.
James Ross had bought flea spray but neither defendant had taken the tabby to the vet when her condition did not improve.
Grey and yellow cockatiel Eddie had been struggling to perch on the bars of his cage and was left to lie at the bottom.
Unable to reach his food and water, the poorly bird had been struggling to breathe and was losing feathers.
Although the bird’s cage was kept in a reasonably clean condition, his feathers and feet were encrusted with his droppings as he was left stuck on the floor.
Both animals were taken to a vet by the RSPCA and Eddie was put down the same day, as it was considered to be in the bird’s best interests, the court heard.
Roxy was given medication to treat the fleas but struggled to put on weight. She was diagnosed with an unrelated tumour and sadly put to sleep in November 2016.
Despite being entitled to use vet charity PDSA, the court heard unemployed Susan Ross had not taken her pets for treatment because she had been busy helping her daughter with her young child.
She also claimed that the cockatiel had been under the care of her late husband and she was not aware that the bird, whose age was unknown, had been ill.
Mother and son both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary care for the cat and bird and were banned from owning pets for a decade.
Speaking outside the court, RSPCA inspector Helen Bestwick said: “It should have been obvious to the owners to get treatment for their pets and consider costs before they have a pet.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £330 in costs and fines each. Banned from owning animals for 10 years (expires January 2027).