Vermin Patrol 2001 - Part 3
The lawyer for a man accused in an alleged dog-fighting ring has asked the charges be thrown out because the investigating officer lost his notes. The lawyer for Kevin Monster (28) who is on trial for four charges of cruelty to animals, argued in Ontario Court of Justice that without the officer's notes, it's impossible for his client to get a fair trial. Despite repeated requests from the crown, Ontario Provincial Police failed to produce their notes made following Monster's arrest at his Adjala-Tosorontio home on 15/4/99. In 2000 a court ordered the destruction of 19 dogs seized at Monster's farm.
Russ Dwain Herren of Tehachapi, who was arrested in April 1999 with 64 pit bulls, many of them scarred and battered. Found guilty of possessing fighting dogs, Herren got a four-year sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Michael Bailey and his cousin Ronnie, were caught with 33 bite-scarred, malnourished pit bulls and pit bull mixes in south Bakersfield in May 2000. They were charged with possession of fighting dogs, cruelty and neglect, but plea-bargained their way to 100 hours each of community service, much to the dismay of the SPCA.
West Palm Beach, Fla. 23/8/00, A Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy and 12 others pled not guilty to their alleged involvement in a dog-fighting ring. Alton Harrell, an employee of the sheriff's office since 1993, entered a not guilty plea. 15 people were booked on animal abuse charges and 45 others face misdemeanor gambling charges following a police raid on a West Palm Beach house. Police said that the dog-fighting operation was a major attraction that brought gamblers all the way from Jacksonville. Another deputy, Reginald Mickins, also recently entered a not-guilty plea as well. He's been with the sheriff's department for more than six years. Harrell's next court date is 18/9/00 and Mickins is scheduled to appear 28/8/00.
The police discovered what they believe to be pit bull fighting and breeding operation, when during a routine check they noticed a car with fogged-up windows. Inside the car, they saw a pit bull with fresh wounds. Several other cars nearby were also found to contain dogs inside them. Police found more dogs inside a house and a crude fighting ring in a garage. One man inside the house fled when police arrived, but two others were arrested. On 19/2/01 Raymond Mattingly (24) also known as Ray Isham, of 6403 Stewart Road, was charged with dog fighting, cruelty to animals and possession of drug paraphernalia. Robert Williams (46) of the 100 block of Riddle Road, Woodlawn, was charged with dog fighting, cruelty to animals and failure to register a dog. The dogs' injuries were consistent with fighting wounds. One had a piece of his lower jaw torn away and another one had a big gash on its face. Mattingly, pleaded guilty on 18/6/01 to dog fighting and cruelty to animals in exchange for prosecutors dropping two other charges. He faces 21 months in prison when he is sentenced on 12/7/01.
In less than a month, two men have been arrested on animal cruelty charges connected to separate fight operations. Jeffrey Jerome Ford (31) of 700 block of Scottwood, Pontiac was charged on 20/4/01 at Pontiac District Court with possession of fighting animals and dog fighting equipment. A search uncovered evidence, including fight photos and 18 dogs, inside his home. Nine pit bull terriers, some with wounds consistent with fighting, were chained and caged inside. Training apparatus also was seized. Ford was held in the Oakland County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond. No preliminary hearing date has been set on the felony charges. Ford's case is almost identical to that of Julius D. Standifer (31) of Pontiac, who was similarly charged following a raid of his home. Standifer is free on bond to await a 3/5/01 hearing.
A judge has ordered 20 pit bulls involved in a dog fighting ring be put to death. That was the decision on 10/6/01 from Henry County General District Court. The judge also ordered their owners to pay the estimated $7,800 to care for the animals until they are put to sleep. Edward Wells Senior (48) and his son Edward Wells Junior (23) are charged with promoting dog fighting for sport or gain. Both men are from Bassett. Authorities found 21 pit bulls after searching a mobile home as part of a drug investigation. One of the dogs died the next day. Authorities say many of the dogs were injured, apparently from dog fighting. If convicted of the felony charges, both men face up to five years in prison.
Fifteen people were arrested on 10/6/01 when the Robeson County Sheriffs Department raided a pit bull dog fight outside of Raynham. The arrests came as part of the departments investigation into dog-fighting in the county. The investigation led deputies to the fight, which was a significant one in dog-fighting circles. The two pit bulls were going for the title of grand master fighters. One was so severely injured that it had to be killed. The fight was already going on when about 18 deputies arrived at a horse barn just outside Raynham, south of Lumberton. The barn was not far from the Robeson County Career Center, he said. Lee County case Officials in Lee County charged a man with dog fighting earlier in 2001 after deputies said they discovered 150 pit bull dogs, a dog-fighting pit and equipment on his Lemon Springs property. They later said they found 12 dogs buried there. All 15 people arrested in Robeson County were charged with felony dog fighting and conspiracy to dog fight. Each of those charges carries a maximum of two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Those arrested were: Cory Blanks (20) of Bolton; Alejandru Sierra Canto (22) of Elizabethtown; Joe Drayton Jr. (35) of Greensboro; Donald Beck (50); Bobby Johnson (32) and Scott LaClaire (32) all of Lumberton; Joe Therl Deese (55) and Terry Deese (33) both of Maxton; Harry Louis Hargrove (68) of Mt. Olive; Paris Brown (24); Barney Lee Blanks Jr. (23) and Torrance Lavon Bryant (23) all of Riegelwood; Donnell Thomas (34) of Sanford; Daniel Joseph Watts (29) of St. Pauls; and Curtis Neal (41) of Wilmington. Canto and Johnson were also charged with carrying concealed weapons. Watts was also charged with obstructing and delaying arrest. An arrest warrant has been issued for Sammy Emanuel (31) of Lumberton. The Sheriffs Department is working to identify a 17th person at the fight who got away. Deputies seized 12 vehicles, four handguns and about $8,500.
Hauppauge, Long Island-AP - On 29/6/01 a Hempstead man pleaded guilty to dog fighting in Suffolk County. The Suffolk County district attorney's office said Anthony Reddick admitted to training animals for the purpose of fighting for amusement or financial gain. Reddick was arrested on 21/3/01, for running a training pit for fighting dogs in Babylon and possessing drugs used to make the dogs more aggressive. At the time, the Babylon Town animal shelter seized 11 dogs from Reddick. They were later euthanased. Reddick is scheduled to sentenced on 24/8/01, the County Court Judge promised to sentence Reddick to 6 months in jail and five years probation with an agreement that he not own any dogs.
RSPCA inspectors and police officers have conducted a series of dawn raids on suspected dog fighters around the country. A number of addresses were searched on 8/8/01 in London, Birmingham, Addleston in Surrey and Scunthorpe. Two men were arrested and nine fighting-type dogs were removed. They are now in RSPCA care. The raids were carried out as part of Operation Flute, an on-going crackdown on illegal dog fighting. On 13/8/01 RSPCA inspectors and police officers conducted another dawn raid on suspected dog fighters. The latest address to be searched was in Cornwall. Three dogs were seized and one man arrested.
A fisherman who killed two cormorants for raiding his favourite fishing lake was fined £250 by magistrates on 12/7/01. Terry Day (36) from Letchworth, Hertfordshire admitted that he had "seen red" when the birds, a protected species, returned to Henlow fishing lakes in Bedfordshire after he had frightened them off. Day shot the two birds dead and was about to shoot a third when an inspector from the RSPB stopped him. He was fined £250 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £55. He must also forfeit his shotgun. Luton magistrates heard on 12/7/01 that Day dressed in camouflaged clothing had took his shotgun to the lakes, he was a member of Letchworth Angling Club and that he had an arrangement with the owners of Whiteman's Lake to patrol the area for vermin. The inspector called the police and Day admitted that he did not have a licence to kill the birds, but considered them to be vermin.
J Hazeltine huntsman with the East Devon Foxhounds, based at Collumpton, Devon appeared before Exeter magistrates on 16/8/01 on a charge of Assault following an alleged incident in which a hunt saboteur was beaten up as he attempted to rescue a fox from a pack of hounds. The hunt saboteur also suffered injuries from the fox, which obviously fearing for its life after being pursued by hounds, struggled to escape from the saboteurs grip and subsequently bit its rescuer. However, following the alleged violent intervention of the huntsman, the saboteur was forced to drop the animal and it was quickly attacked and killed by the waiting hounds. News reports suggesting that the frightened animal managed to escape with its life were sadly mistaken. The case has been adjourned until 19/11/01.
A serial wild birds' egg collector has become the first person in the country to be jailed under new legislation to protect wildlife. Barry Sheavils (41) of Ogle Drive, Blyth was jailed for four months by Northumberland magistrates on 7/9/01. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which amended the Wildlife and Countryside Act, allows courts to impose a jail sentence of up to six months. Sheavils had admitted possessing three goshawk eggs, four goosander eggs, and possessing, with intent to commit an offence, a tin with compartments for eggs. Sheavils' home was raided in June 2000, less than a month after he had been convicted of possessing more than 1,200 rare birds eggs, for which he was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £350 costs. Magistrates said that they would have considered jailing him if they could have done so. But they could not as the offences were committed before January 2001, when the new provisions came into force. In the June raid, officers found Sheavils had a clutch of three rare goshawk eggs and later discovered four goosander eggs and a quantity of the class B drug amphetamine sulphate dumped in a wheelie bin.
A former Horsewoman of the Year could be ordered to carry out community work after reducing a horse to just "skin and bone" through neglect. Appearing at Teesside magistrates on 4/8/01 was Joanne Eleanor (30) of Red House Farm, on the Moorhouse Estate, near Stockton. Following a tip-off. an RSPCA inspector found an under-nourished chestnut mare that was skeletal almost. Eleanor pleaded guilty to causing suffering to the horse, which the court heard had put on ten stones since it been cared for by the RSPCA. On 31/8/01 Eleanor was been banned from keeping animals for ten years and was also given a two months prison sentence, suspended for a year. Appeal.
The owner of Southport zoo has been fined £5,000 for keeping a number of endangered birds and animals without a proper licence. Doug Petrie (right) admitted the charge when he appeared before North Sefton magistrates on 11/7/01. The court was told he had kept a number of animals without the correct registration or licence. Among the animals involved were ocelots, tawny owls, a scarlet macaw, barn owls, a sea turtle shell, cotton-topped tamarins, tortoises and one Herman's tortoise shell which was on display at the zoo. Petrie, who changed his not guilty plea to one of guilty. The court was told he had applied for such a licence only six days before the zoo was searched by police, the RSPCA and officers from TRAFFIC , part of the Worldwide Fund for Nature. In addition to the fine, Petrie must pay £350 prosecution costs and forfeit the animals and birds listed in the charges.
A vet is waiting to learn whether he can continue his practice after being accused of destroying a swans' nest. Timothy Briggs of Bunbury Lane, Bunbury faces trial for allegedly trampling on a nest in March 2000 but, his trial was adjourned for at least another two months. The trial was to start at Chester Magistrates' Court but the Crown Prosecution Service obtained new evidence at the last minute and was adjourned. On the evening of March 19, prosecution witnesses claim they saw Briggs near Tilston Trout Pond trampling over the nest which belonged to a swan - a protected species. But Briggs said on the same day he was attending to a sick horse. The case had previously been adjourned at the beginning of the year because of foot and mouth disease. The nest was set in the countryside and the prosecution didn't want to carry out certain investigations in light of the restrictions imposed in the countryside. The case has been adjourned again.
Police are investigating a complaint made against John McCririck, the Channel 4 racing expert, after he allegedly assaulted a female security guard at a racecourse. The security guard called the police after McCririck allegedly tried to "brush her aside" at York races on 23/8/01 when he tried to get into a part of the racecourse for which he did not have an appropriate pass. A spokesman for North Yorkshire police said: "I can confirm there was an incident at York races. Following a complaint of an assault made at York Racecourse, a 61-year-old man was interviewed and a file will be submitted in due course."
On 31/8/01 a former teacher who suffocated a rabbit brought to class by students for a dissection experiment has been found innocent of animal cruelty. Jurors decided that Godwin Collins Onunwah did not act maliciously when he placed a rabbit in a plastic bag and waited for the animal to die. Onunwah, who taught seventh grade, was not rehired when his contract expired. "Since the purpose of euthanising an animal in dissection for a biology class, I didn't think any evidence of malice existed, and apparently the jury agreed," Onunwah asked special education students to bring in animals for dissection. One boy bought a black-and-white rabbit from a pet store. Onunwah placed the rabbit in the bag. It was alive at the end of class, so Onunwah put the bag inside a cabinet. The rabbit died that weekend. Charges were filed after complaints from parents and an investigation by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
A magistrate has denied possessing explosives with intent to endanger life. Jonathan Wilkes (40) who lives in Royan, France pleaded not guilty to two charges when he appeared at Oxford Crown Court on 14/9/01. Wilkes a computer software engineer and IT consultant, has been charged with two offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883. The charges relate to the discovery of nine anti-personnel bombs found at Freeland, Oxfordshire, and Syreford, Gloucestershire in last year. Wilkes who serves as a JP on the Oxfordshire circuit, denies the two charges of possessing nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine with intent to endanger life and property. Wilkes was remanded in custody until his trial at Oxford Crown Court which is due to begin on 7/01/02. The trial is expected to last for eight days.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land - My Arse!!!)
Two men who allowed calves and sheep to starve on their farm have been banned from keeping farm animals for life. Half-brothers Edmund Pilbeam (58) of Diplocks Farm, Chalvington, near Polegate and Andrew Putticks (47) of Muddles Green, Chiddingly, near Hailsham failed to properly feed or treat livestock. Eastbourne magistrates were told on 14/8/01 how they kept calves in litter several feet deep, left them untreated for worms and allowed them to become emaciated. Sheep were underfed for up to eight weeks, and the ribs and backbones of many of them were visible. Pilbeam and Putticks admitted seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and one count of failing to dispose of animal by-products properly. The pair were given 240 hours of community punishment and banned from keeping farm animals for life.
A pig farmer whose animals were among the first to be infected with foot-and-mouth has been charged with six more offences. Bobby Waugh (56) who operated from Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, now faces 22 charges relating to the disease. He appeared in court charged under the Animal Health Act 1981 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911. A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said the farmer faces six other charges under the Animal Health Act and the Trade Descriptions Act. The original 16 charges include five counts of failing to notify officials of foot-and-mouth disease in animals, four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, bringing unprocessed catering waste onto his premises and feeding it to pigs. There are also four charges of failing to dispose of animal by-products and one of failing to record the movement of pigs on the farm. Waugh did not enter any pleas before Tynedale magistrates on 16/8/01. Proceedings against Waugh's 60-year-old brother Ronald, who also lives at the family home in Sunderland, have been adjourned indefinitely after a medical report.
Two men have pleaded guilty to causing nearly 100 sheep such cruelty that they starved, became diseased, went blind and died. At Melton Mowbray magistrates on 21/8/01 David John Carter (33) of Hartopp Road, Melton Mowbray and Peter Miller (56) of Twenty, near Bourne, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to a total of 74 cases of cruelty and neglect against the animals Miller, already serving a six-month prison sentence for similar offences committed in Bourne around the same time, was sentenced to a further six months and banned for life from keeping livestock. Carter was released on unconditional bail for six weeks so psychiatric reports could be prepared. He will appear for sentencing at Leicester magistrates on 1/10/01. The lambs and ewes were kept on a smallholding owned by Carter at Massfield Farm, Cold Overton. At another site, rented for grazing by Miller, at Braunston Road near Oakham, more neglected sheep were found. Appeal.
A pig farmer
once linked to Waugh, the Northumberland farmer whose animals
were the first to contract foot-and-mouth disease, faces fines
of up to £35,000. On 10/9/01 Bishop Auckland magistrates convicted Alan
Clement (57) who runs a farm in Roddymoor Crook, Co Durham
of breaching pig transport regulations. He was convicted in his
absence. Clement is known to have been among the suppliers of processed
pigswill to Waugh's farm in Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland,
where the outbreak is thought to have started. The court heard
that Clement had repeatedly refused to co-operate with trading
standards officers on the various occasions they had called at
the farm to inspect his documents. The hearing was adjourned until
22/10/01. Each of the seven offences carries a maximum fine of £5,000.
A pedigree shih-tzu was trussed up with dog leads and dumped in a four-foot culvert days before Christmas Oswestry magistrates heard on 9/7/01. The dog had been wrapped in a bin-bag, was found on Boxing Day by a member of the public who heard her cries and alerted the RSPCA. Owners Jonathan Maxfield (left) (25) of no fixed abode and his partner Louise Swannick (21) of Lime Grove, Oswestry admitted causing the animal unnecessary suffering. Magistrates heard that the dog had been in an "appalling" condition when she was found, she was malnourished and had a festering right eye. The court heard that the dog was given to Maxfield (left) and Swannick (right) by a neighbour who thought she would make a suitable pet for Swannick's daughter. The two accused admitted causing the dog suffering by unreasonably omitting to provide proper care for the animal. The dog lost her right eye but made a full recovery and now has a new home. On 16/8/01 Maxfield was jailed for three months and banned from keeping any animal for life. Swannick was banned from keeping animals for 10 years, ordered to do 120 hours of community service and told to pay £150 costs.
A man who tossed a dog to its death in a bout of road rage has been sentenced to the maximum of three years behind bars on 13/7/01. Andrew Burnett (27) was convicted in San Jose, California of animal cruelty for throwing the dog into oncoming traffic after his car bumped into the dog owner's. The courtroom erupted in applause when the judge said Burnett's release would pose a danger to the community, rejected a recommendation for probation and sentenced Burnett to the maximum possible for felony animal cruelty. During the sentencing hearing, Burnett's mother asked for leniency for her son, calling him an animal lover. The dog's owner other witnesses testified that after the minor traffic accident Burnett yelled at her, reached through her open car window, grabbed the dog and hurled it into oncoming traffic. The dog was struck seconds later.
A Californian man was arrested on 13/7/01 on charges that he dumped four puppies into an agricultural shredding machine because he was tired of them making a mess. The puppies were eight to 10 weeks old and lived at the equipment yard of a contract harvesting company in Tulare, animal control officer Daniel Bailey said. Officials acting on a tip-off on Wednesday found animal body parts in a pond, on the ground and in a shredder used to harvest corn for silage. They arrested employee Brandon Ferguson (26) who could face animal cruelty counts. Investigators believe Ferguson killed the strays because he didn't like the mess they were making at the equipment yard. Another puppy and its mother were being kept at an animal hospital.
An RSPCA inspector was horrified at the condition of a pet dog she examined at a Crawley home. The black labrador had a serious skin condition, an eye infection, sores on its body and legs and was underweight. Crawley magistrates heard on 10/8/01 the dog was withdrawn, depressed and lethargic. It was taken away to be treated but had to be put down. The owners, David and Tina Maynard both 37, of Carman Walk, Broadfield, Crawley, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering. They claimed the dog's decline was very gradual and they were lulled into accepting its condition. Magistrates ordered reports and adjourned sentencing until 5/9/01.
A Suffolk pet owner has been banned from having
custody of cats for five years after abandoning a cat and her four
kittens at the side of a road. A witness, who saw Zacheriah Draper (51)
from Ipswich dump the cats, managed to catch the mother and three
kittens, but the fourth disappeared. Draper denied abandoning the
cats and told the RSPCA they disappeared a week earlier. Ipswich
magistrates heard in July how the descriptions given by witnesses
matched Draper. They said he took the cats from an old, grey, hatchback
car and drove off. The court heard that Draper admitted owning a
black cat and three kittens, and said the abandoned cats were his.
Magistrates found Draper guilty of abandoning the cats and ordered
him to pay £150 costs, plus the full cost of boarding the cats, £452.72
and fined him £150. All cats have been successfully rehomed.
A Suffolk pet owner has been banned from having custody of cats for five years after abandoning a cat and her four kittens at the side of a road. A witness, who saw Zacheriah Draper (51) from Ipswich dump the cats, managed to catch the mother and three kittens, but the fourth disappeared. Draper denied abandoning the cats and told the RSPCA they disappeared a week earlier. Ipswich magistrates heard in July how the descriptions given by witnesses matched Draper. They said he took the cats from an old, grey, hatchback car and drove off. The court heard that Draper admitted owning a black cat and three kittens, and said the abandoned cats were his. Magistrates found Draper guilty of abandoning the cats and ordered him to pay £150 costs, plus the full cost of boarding the cats, £452.72 and fined him £150. All cats have been successfully rehomed.
A woman has been paid £4,000 damages after claiming her fiancé tried to poison her pet dog because she doted on the animal more than him. Lynda Greaves (27) from Cheltenham, said Ian Wallace (26) was so envious of the affection she lavished on border collie Jack he terrorised the pet. Over three months he allegedly poured chemical in the dog's eyes, slashed his leg with a sharp instrument and fed him poison, Newbury County Court were told on 13/8/01. Kennel manager Greaves only became suspicious when she noticed her dog cowered whenever Wallace was close by and yelped in pain when the two were left alone. The animal lover from Bishop's Cleeve broke off her engagement, moved out of their home in Calne, Wiltshire, and has now been awarded more than £4,000 in damages from her ex-lover.
On 15/8/01 a woman admitted starving a terrier to death in what an animal pathologist described as the most emaciated animal she seen. Kathleen Jaffray (48) of Roworth Road, Middlesbrough pleaded guilty to cruelty to two dogs at Teesside magistrates. Co-defendants Christine Dawson (37) and David Mitchinson (29) admitted cruelty at an earlier hearing and were banned for life from keeping dogs. The RSPCA brought the prosecution after a dead dog was found in the yard of a house in Teesdale Terrace, Thornaby, Teesside. Another dog was found starving and survived only by drinking rainwater. The three defendants had moved to Middlesbrough and left the animals to fend for themselves, the court heard. The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports on Jaffrey. She was granted conditional bail until 11/9/01, when all three defendants will be sentenced.
A US man put four puppies through an agricultural shredder because he was fed up with them messing about in the factory where he worked. Brandon Ferguson (26) from Tipton, California, pleaded guilty on 16/8/01 to four charges of cruelty to animals, one of dissuading a witness from reporting the crime and one of threatening a witness. He could face up to four years and four months in prison when he is sentenced in September. Police were called to Vieira Custom Chopping in Tulare after an anonymous tip-off. Other workers at the factory said Ferguson had threatened and intimidated them after the incident.
A thug who smashed a puppy's head with a wooden truncheon has been banned from owning animals for life. Peter Scotter (40) of Smyrna Place, Hendon, Sunderland battered the 14-week-old Staffordshire bull terrier pup after it fouled the kitchen floor, Sunderland magistrates court heard on 21/8/01. He said he attacked the dog because it had snapped at his three-year-old son, but admitted a charge of cruelty. Scotter is already serving a 21-month sentence for throwing bricks plastered with racist stickers through the window of a Sunderland house used by asylum seekers. At Durham Crown Court in July 2001 he admitted the attack on the house in the Hendon area. Scotter admitted killing the animal after repeatedly hitting it with a truncheon, before punching and kicking it. He told police: "I killed it, that's good enough isn't it? I hit it because it was snapping at my son's face." Scotter currently at HM Prison Durham, was disqualified from owning animals for life and given a four-month jail term to run concurrently with the sentence he is serving.
A dog owner let his pet suffer for months with an agonising tumour because he couldn't bear to have her put down, a court has been told on 22/8/01. Donald Purton (48) landlord of The Oriental pub in Montpelier Road, Brighton, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to his 18-year-old Doberman. Brighton magistrates heard Purton, who did not attend court, had refused to go to the vets because he could not bear to have his dog put down. When an RSPCA inspector visited the pub she found the dog emaciated and suffering from a facial tumour half the size of her head. Sadly, the dog had to be put down. Magistrates ordered Purton to attend a sentencing hearing on 30/8/01.
A couple from Paddock Wood have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to their pet dog. When an RSPCA officer visited Christopher and Linda Lewis at their home he found the 16-year-old black mongrel malnourished with bones protruding and infected eyes. The couple appeared before Tunbridge Wells magistrates on 22/8/01 and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by failing to provide it with necessary care and attention. The couple were fined £100 each, ordered to pay £50 costs each and banned from keeping animals for a decade.
A Teesside man, who cut off the tails and dewclaws of seven puppies without anesthetic, has been banned for five years from having custody of a dog and ordered to carry out 140 hours community service. George Hunt (43) of Hartlepool was ordered to pay legal costs of £550 after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering and illegally docking the puppies. Following a tip-off an RSPCA inspector found Hunt's springer spaniel dog lying in a plastic box in a hut in his back yard, having severe difficulty giving birth. The inspector Palmer rushed her to a vets for a Caesarian section. However, Hunt said he could not afford the vet's fees so the RSPCA paid half the cost. Owing to the bitch's complicated birth, it was thought all puppies would be stillborn, but seven survived. Three days later they were all returned to Hunt. Inspector Palmer revisited Hunt's house four days later and discovered the puppies had been docked with a pair of scissors and their dewclaws removed. All dogs were immediately taken to a vet for examination before being taken into RSPCA care. The docked tails became infected, but eventually healed after further treatment.
A couple whose dog was found starving and tied to a fence have been disqualified from owning a dog for five years. David Barnard (35) and Lisa Stamford (32) both of Newick Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to their dog. Brighton magistrates heard on 31/8/01 how an RSPCA inspector found the couple's dog tied to a fence without water or shelter. The German shepherd, which has since been rehomed, was taken to a vet who confirmed that she was emaciated and had suffered muscle wastage. The court ordered the couple to pay £100 each in costs and compensation of £636.37 to the RSPCA. They were disqualified from owning a dog for five years and will have to carry out 60 hours' community service each.
Two of the UK's leading dog breeders, one of them a judge at Crufts, were found guilty of cruelty to a cocker spaniel on 3/9/01. Roger Stone (62) and Lee Cox (29) who claim to have produced 48 UK champions, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a retired stud dog. They were each given a three-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay a total of £5,000 costs towards the RSPCA prosecution. Cheddar magistrates in Somerset were told that an RSPCA officer found the dog at the pair's show kennel at Kaston Kennels at Mark, Somerset, where they specialise in breeding pedigree poodles. The spaniel had a chronically infected ear that was bleeding, ulcerated and oozing pus, and had bald itchy skin from a lice infestation. Cox and Stone are also co-ordinators for South West Poodle Rescue.
On 6/9/01 an Ohio man has been jailed for strangling a cat and leaving its body under the windscreen wipers of a neighbour's car. Jared Miller (18) of Fremont told police he was drunk at the time and only remembered throwing the cat when it bit him. Miller was jailed for 90 days after pleading guilty to animal cruelty and was also fined the maximum penalty of $750 (£515).
A US man has been jailed for four years for pinning a puppy to a wall with a steak knife. Hailey Eugene Prescott (45) from Granitevill, South Carolina, said he acted mercifully in killing the animal because it had been run over by a truck. Prescott claimed he pinned the puppy to his girlfriend's bedroom wall so it wouldn't be eaten by her cats. On 6/9/01 Aiken County Court heard Prescott stabbed the dog to get back at his girlfriend for reporting him to police over an alleged domestic violence incident. The court also heard that Prescott wrote "you've done this, now live with it" on the wall and drew an arrow pointing to the dead puppy. Police found evidence the eight-week-old dog had been moved from one wall to another. Prescott was found guilty of ill treatment of animals and jailed for four years.
A college student took an injured wallaby home and left it to die on his living room floor after it was attacked by one of his dogs in a park St Helens magistrates heard on 12/9/01. Robert Pemberton (19) of Kidstone Close, Sutton pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to the animal. The court heard that Pemberton had gone into the attraction which was closed as a result of the foot-and-mouth crisis in May to have a look around. One of his lurcher dogs, which was not on the lead at the time, grabbed the wallaby by the neck in its compound and it suffered serious multiple injuries. The court was told that the teenager took the animal home and even borrowed a needle and thread off a neighbour to stitch up its wounds himself. Following a tip-off the police broke into the house and found the wallaby lying behind the settee in the same room as two lurcher dogs. Pemberton claimed he was planning to seek veterinary attention for the animal, but the court heard he went out drinking after work instead. The wallaby was later put to sleep by a vet. He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a goose and possession of a dead mallard. The two were also found by officers in his back garden chained up and with a stick pushed through their bodies. The mallard had suffered injuries consistent with being bitten by a dog but the goose had been strangled. On 24/11/01 he was sentenced to three months at a young offenders institute.
A man who threw meat laced with rat poison into neighbouring gardens after becoming annoyed over barking dogs has been given a one-year conditional discharge. Frank Bartlett (59) of 69 Banners Lane, Halesowen, West Midlands, threw the meat into two gardens in Stourdell Road, Colleygate, also Halesowen. Bartlett admitted administering a poisonous substance contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911 at a hearing at Halesowen magistrates on 24/9/01. Bartlett, who had complained to the council about the dogs barking, admitted in court he had "crossed the line from what was acceptable" by taking matters into his own hands. Magistrates ordered him to pay the RSPCA's £300 court costs.
On 28/9/01 a farm worker from Flintshire in north Wales has been banned for five years from having custody of any animal after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs. Following a complaint the RSPCA visited the former Northop home of Melanie Kidd (27) and discovered the emaciated dogs confined to a shed at the back of the house. A boxer and a cocker spaniel were found inside and immediately taken for veterinary examination. The boxer was a third underweight and her ribs and hindquarters were easily visible through her skin. The spaniel was also thin with a very matted coat and around half the average weight of a cocker spaniel. Their paws were painful from being scalded by the ammonia on the urine-soaked shed floor. A vet reported that the dogs were emaciated, hungry and dehydrated. They were both infested with fleas and one had alopecia as a result. Kidd now residing at nearby Bryn Coch, in Flint, was also fined £100 and ordered to pay £200 costs. Both dogs were signed over to the RSPCA and they have since been successfully rehomed.
The son of a former chief of police has lost his appeal after a court ruled he slashed his pet puppy's throat. Gareth Robins (24) from Heywood Road, Prestwich, formerly from Middleton Road, Chadderton, who described himself as an animal lover, had appealed against his conviction for inflicting the horrific injuries, saying the dog could have been hurt on barbed wire. On 4/10/01 at Manchester Crown Court a judge and two magistrates failed to believe him and upheld his convictions on two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. Sentence was adjourned until November 2001. The mongrel needed 40 stitches to close the gaping wound in its throat, which exposed its jugular vein and windpipe. A vet said the shocking injuries could only have been caused deliberately. Robins, the son of retired chief inspector Gordon Robins, was jailed for two months and banned from keeping animals for 10 years by Oldham magistrates, but he was immediately freed after he lodged an appeal. Chief Insp Robins defended his son in court, but the appeal bench rejected his plea. The court heard that Robins took a scalpel or a knife to the eight-month-old mongrel and sliced open its throat. Then he stabbed and sliced it across the body up to 15 times. He waited two hours before taking the dog for treatment to a vet. Then he said the dog was a stray which he had found wandering in Chadderton. Robins' former wife Shelley told the court that before Ben was hurt in January 2000, five other animals left in his care had met with ''bizarre'' accidents. Shelley told the court that three kittens and a puppy died while Robins was looking after them. She also said a hamster called Madge was singed after its cage was set alight while Robins was in the house alone with the pet. Robins said the kittens died from cat flu.Back to Vermin Patrol