RSPCA

Couple who reared pitbulls avoid prison

A couple who bred illegal pitbulls to sell on as fighting dogs have escaped a jail term.

Sarah Wilkinson, 23 and Nathan Kirkby, 18, have been sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work by magistrates after admitting possession of a fighting dog, breeding of a fighting dog and advertising as a gift a fighting dog at Preston Magistrates Court.

They were arrested when police and RSPCA officials swooped on their home in Robin Street, Ribbleton, in February following a series of complaints from residents at PACT meetings for the area.

Rascal, black and white dog, China, a brown and white bitch and their 10 puppies were seized and taken to secure kennels. Experts later concluded they were banned pitbulls.

Wilkinson and Kirkby were sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work and a community order, with supervision for six months.

The court made a destruction order for all the animals but the fate of China and Rascal remains unclear as the couple have appealed the order.

The 10 puppies, whom they gave up the rights to, are to be put to sleep.

Insp Paddy O’Neill, of Fulwood Police, said “Dealing with issues that matter most to our communities is our top priority. I hope that these two results go to show that we are clamping down on concerns about dangerous dogs and we are able, with our partners to do something about it to try and make communities safer.”

A 26-year-old Preston man was given a restriction order by magistrates at the end of June after his pet was seized by police. The order means his dog must be muzzled and on a lead – both in a public place and in a vehicle – and must be neutered and micro chipped.

The order says it needs to be registered on an exempted dog index, insured and must not be in the control of under 16s.

http://www.lep.co.uk/news/couple_who_reared_pitbulls_avoid_prison_1_928679#

Owner of ‘demon dogs’ told he could be jailed

Pitbull on treadmill

A TATTOOIST could be facing a prison sentence after being convicted of keeping an illegal pit bull for dog fighting.

After deliberating for more than five hours, magistrates in Cwmbran convicted David Braddon, 47, of Glyn Llwysen, Llanbradach, of three offences.

The father-of-five was found guilty of keeping or training a dog for use in connection with animal fighting, having articles for use in connection with animal fighting and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

He was found not guilty of four charges of keeping or training a dog for use in connection with fighting and not guilty of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. He admitted five charges of owning a banned breed.

The chairwoman of the magistrates Kathleen Starr warned “custody obviously has to be considered”.

The sentencing was adjourned for reports and Braddon was remanded on bail.

Prosecutor Nicholas Sutton, acting for the RSPCA, said the offences came to light when the police and RSPCA had searched Braddon’s home in March last year.

During that search they found five pit bull terriers.

There were also items of dog- fighting paraphernalia including two treadmills, allegedly used in training the dogs for fights.

They also found three books, The Complete Pitbull or Staffordshire Terrier, Terrier Dogs etc and Dogs of Velvet and Steel alongside some weighing scales and a bottle of animal antibiotic duplocillin, which only vets are authorised to use.

During Braddon’s three-day trial, expert Alison Robson described the pit bull as “the dog- fighting dog par excellence”.

One of the dogs had 42 scars and she said that such injuries would have occurred during fighting.

She told the Cwmbran magistrates the dogs were “a handful and incredibly strong”, and warned they could kill babies and small children and could do serious damage to an adult.

Braddon said he admired the breed and had never taken any of the dogs to a fight.

The treadmills, he said, were to exercise them for their wellbeing.

“I have never been involved in any illegal activity with a dog and I certainly didn’t involve myself in dog fighting,” he said.

He added: “The RSPCA has had a witch hunt of people who own pit bull terriers.”

He said: “All they’re interested in is destroying the animals.”

He also said: “They are demonised like some devil dog.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/06/19/owner-of-demon-dogs-told-he-could-be-jailed-91466-26682368/

For fox sake, understand urban wildlife

Fox attacks are virtually unheard of.  The real issue with urban foxes is how we deal with a problem of our own making

Terry Nutkins
guardian.co.uk

Foxes are now treating urban areas as their territory. They don’t necessarily differentiate between concrete and a tree, as both are now part of their habitat. They are carnivores and opportunist feeders, but they don’t attack humans. I can’t remember a single verified case of a fox attacking a human unprovoked.

This fox, if it was a fox, was probably young (as they are usually born around May). It reportedly entered the house through an open door, without knowing where it was going, and probably panicked when it found itself in a room with these two infants. When a fox is stressed, it runs about a lot and it could easily have injured the children accidentally. What I am definite about is that this fox did not go “on purpose” to attack the two children; that’s simply not what foxes want to do. Any injury it caused those children would have been, in that sense, accidental.

This has been reported as an attack by a fox, but I am doubtful. Domestic animals are far more likely to attack humans as they do not attempt to avoid us as foxes do. Whether it was a fox or not, we need to be more responsible about how we treat wild animals when they come into areas of human habitation. People are scared of wild animals, and when they hear or read stories like this, they tend to lose sight of how to deal with the underlying issues they raise. We need to make sure that foxes do not become persecuted. The same is beginning to happen to badgers again because of concerns about bovine TB.

When a very rare incident like this involving a fox does occur, it is never the animal’s fault. Foxes are not like wolves. They will never hunt humans, but only defend themselves if they feel that their own lives or their young are being threatened.

To the extent to which urban foxes are a problem, it is one we’ve landed ourselves with. Some years ago, it became fashionable to have a fox in your garden and people would attract them to their gardens because they saw foxes as a countryside import into the city. When foxes started coming into cities people became quite excited about this “exotic” rural wildlife.

If you had one in your garden, you’d actually invite people over to come and see it. They were given food and this, of course, encouraged them to come back. There was an abundance of food around the place and foxes are opportunist feeders. They’re also tough animals and so they bred quickly.

But as the fashion died down, people’s attitudes to foxes began to change. They were seen as a nuisance, and as they stopped being fed, they began to scavenge. They raid dustbins, they make a mess, and people aren’t interested in them anymore as countryside creatures in an urban setting. It’s not good for us, but it’s not good for the foxes either because they’re riddled with disease, and we have to take responsibility for them: we need to get them out of the situation they’re in.

The RSPCA does a tremendous job in getting these animals out of inner cities and it’s this kind of approach that we need to encourage. I would discourage people from placing fox traps in their gardens. They are not really a sensible way to deal with the problem, unless you know what type of trap to use and how to use it. We mustn’t allow people to go out and lay down traps willy-nilly to catch the foxes. People also won’t know what to do with a fox once they’ve caught one. You have to know of an agency that is willing to come and take the fox away, otherwise you’re stuck with this terrified fox in your garden.

But we need to take responsibility for the fact that these foxes are in our cities: they’re here because we wanted them to be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/07/urban-fox-attack-london

No mercy shown in callous slaughter of animal loved by the public

At 11.30 am on Saturday 6 February 2010, over 130 nationally scarce hares on the Raveningham Estate (Norfolk) were happily basking in the winter sunshine. By 2 pm they had been laid out cold for display on the patio of the Old Granary Studio barn, (more often used for wedding functions and other happy occasions).

The shooters and beaters were inside, laughing, joking and stuffing their faces at a long table.  When vocal condemnation was heard, these poor creatures were hurriedly slung into the back of a Land Rover and quickly driven away. Their ears and feet were seen by onlookers poking skyward.

Please complain about this disgusting event to:

Raveningham Estate
The Estate Office
Raveningham
Norwich
NR14 6NS

Tel.: 01508 548152
E-mail: info@raveningham.com

Blackburn dog fighter loses appeal

A CONVICTED dog fighter from Blackburn will spend Christmas in jail after he lost his appeal against sentence in a case brought by the RSPCA.

Aftab Razzaq, 25, admitted goading and fighting his pit bull terrier-type dog Benny with a Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to Usman Hussain in public playing fields.

The pair were caught after mobile phone footage of them ‘rolling’ their dogs in broad daylight in Troy Street fields, Blackburn, was handed to police, who then contacted the RSPCA.

Razzaq, of Clinton Street, Blackburn, saw his original sentence upheld when he appeared before Preston Crown Court yesterday.

He was originally sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court to four months in jail.

Hussain, 22, of St James’s Road, Blackburn, was sentenced to three months in jail.

He did not appeal against his sentence.

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/blackburn/4816450.Blackburn_dog_fighter_loses_appeal/

Barbaric deer killer jailed

A COLD blooded yob who bludgeoned a helpless deer to death has been jailed.

James Faulds, 19, battered the fallow deer at Belleisle’s Pets Corner in March this year.

The 12-year-old female, named Sandra by adoring staff, was found dead by animal carer Carol McColm.

She said: “I can only describe her as a sweet old lady.

“She was one of the tamest of the deer, and was peacefully living out her life at Pets’ Corner.

“Nothing like this ever happened in my nine years at Pets’ Corner. It is just appalling.”

Faulds admitted killing the deer on March 9 this year when he appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court this week.

She suffered a fractured skull and brain trauma when she was ferociously struck about the head with a blunt object.

Faulds was sentenced to 22 months behind bars by disgusted Sheriff Colin Miller.

And the callous killer is forbidden from ever owning or caring for an animal.

The Scottish SPCA have welcomed the sentence.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “This was a disgusting and barbaric act of mindless cruelty, fully deserving of a custodial sentence.

“This sort of animal abuse is abhorrent. Our First Strike campaign highlights the link between cruelty towards animals and human violence in later years and this is a particular chilling example of this kind of behaviour.

Superintendent John Hazlett, from Ayr police office, said the sentence serves as a warning to like-minded thugs.

Supt Hazlett said: “This is a substantial custodial sentence which has been passed by the court on the perpetrator of a horrific and sickening attack involving the killing of a defenceless animal.

“This incident took place at the well known local area of Pets Corner in Ayr and had a very negative effect within the local community who were appalled that such a horrendous act could occur on their doorstep.

“This sentence sends out a clear message that any person involved in such acts will be vigorously pursued by the authorities and dealt with in the strongest possible terms.”

http://www.ayrshirepost.net/ayrshire-news/local-news-ayrshire/ayr-news/2009/12/11/barbaric-deer-killer-jailed-102545-25354461/

Jail sentence upheld as dog fighter’s appeal fails

A woman who held dog fights in the garage of her Lincolnshire home has been jailed after her appeal against conviction failed, following a major investigation by the RSPCA’s special operations unit.

Claire Parker will immediately begin her original 18 week prison sentence after she failed in her appeal against conviction of dog fighting charges. Parker was found guilty of jointly using her garage as a venue for dog fights, as well as attending a dog fight and jointly possessing three pit bull terrier type dogs, following a trial in September this year.

The 43-year-old, of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, yesterday (03/12/09) also saw her 10 year ban on keeping all animals upheld and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with her earlier sentence.

Her late-husband John Parker was also due to stand trial in September this year on dog fighting charges, but he died before the hearing while in prison for other offences.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq will begin a 22 week custodial sentence after his conviction on four charges, including attending and taking part in a dog fight at Parker’s property, was upheld. Lincoln Crown Court, sitting at the town’s magistrates court, was told Farooq acted as a time keeper at a fight staged in Parker’s garage. His appeal against convictions of keeping pit bull terrier type dogs for fighting and possession of items used in connection with dog fighting – namely two treadmills – also failed.

The 34-year-old, of Daniel’s Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, was banned from keeping all animals for life and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with the original sentence passed following trial. He had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull type dogs.

A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also failed in their bid to overturn convictions of joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in animal fights.

The youth, who had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs, saw the original sentence of a six-month referral order upheld, as well as a five year ban on keeping all animals.

However, both the youth and Farooq were successful in their appeals against conviction of two charges each of causing unnecessary suffering to pit bull terrier type dogs.

The three appellants were discovered as part of a major investigation into organised dog fighting across England by the RSPCA’s special operations unit. The investigation, named Operations Cannon and Castle, hinged on intelligence gather by the RSPCA, as well as footage taken by an undercover reporter working for the BBC’s Panorama programme.

The footage obtained by the BBC showed Gary Adamson, from Cleveland, reveal details of a dog fight that took place at Parker’s Kexby home, as well as the names of some of those who attended – including Farooq – to the undercover reporter. Work by the RSPCA’s special operations unit led them to others connected to the fight.

Searches were then carried out at premises across eight different counties by RSPCA inspectors who discovered dog fighting equipment including several treadmills, training aids, veterinary kits and breaking sticks – used to prise apart the jaws of dogs during a fight. Many of those prosecuted also had elaborate kennels at their homes where they trained their dogs for fighting.

The investigation led to the discovery of 35 fighting dogs, of which more than half had sustained fighting injuries and showed scars from previous bouts.

One of the biggest discoveries was of the blood stained fighting pit, constructed in Parker’s garage, where Adamson and Kenneth King fought their dogs. The inspectors also found three pit bull type dogs and treadmills, used to build up dogs’ stamina and fitness, at Parker’s home.

Chief inspector Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “This is one of the biggest ever dog fighting investigations by the RSPCA. It spanned eight counties across the UK and involved joint RSPCA and police teams which discovered 35 fighting dogs – more than half with fighting injuries.

“The late Stephen Ibinson, the reporter who carried out the BBC investigation for Panorama, must take an enormous amount of credit for his bravery and determination, which has helped result in these successful convictions.

“Many people don’t realise that dog fighting is still a major problem in England and Wales in 2009, but sadly it is. While there are still those people who think it is acceptable to fight dogs for their own sick entertainment, the RSPCA and police will continue to bring them to justice.

“Anyone with information about dog fighting should contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.”

Adamson (23 weeks), King (23 weeks) and Owen Batey (23 weeks) were all jailed in September this year after they admitted the charges – including causing an animal fight to take place and taking part in a dog fight – against them. All three were also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,500 costs each.

The investigation also led the RSPCA to Christopher Burgess who admitted one charge of joint possession of a pit bull type dog. He was sentenced to 160 hours unpaid work and £250 costs.

Jane Adamson was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and given an 18-month community and supervisory order after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, by failing to obtain veterinary treatment for the wounds suffered by her husband Gary Adamson’s dog Pablo. She was also ordered to pay £150 costs.

Full charge details:

Gary Adamson (26/01/1971), of Davenport Road, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted six charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo for use in connection with an animal fight, jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo by failing to provide veterinary attention in respect of injuries caused by fighting and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Pablo.

Owen Anthony Batey (26/11/1968), of Cannock Road, Middlesborough, admitted three charges: causing an animal fight to take place, being present at an animal fight and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Banjo.

Christopher John Burgess (24/11/1966), of Longstone Way, Ladybrook, Mansfield, admitted one charge: joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Kenneth Harold King (14/12/73), of Main Street, Ragnall, Newark, Nottinghamshire, admitted eight charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by causing the animal to fight with another, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief for use in an animal fight, possession of two pit bull terrier type dogs, and joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Jane Adamson (22/12/1970), of The Old Market, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted one charge: causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog named Pablo by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight.

Claire Amanda Parker (15/12/64), of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, failed in an appeal against conviction of three charges: being present at an animal fight, jointly keeping a premises for use for an animal fight and joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq (16/9/75), of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, admitted one charge: joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

He failed in an appeal against convicted of a further four charges: taking part in an animal fight, being present at an animal fight, joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight.

He was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog

A youth aged under 18 admitted one charge: jointly had possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

The youth failed in an appeal against conviction of a further two charges: jointly having possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight.

The youth was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog.

http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-formers/press-releases/animal-welfare/rspca-jail-sentence-upheld-as-dog-fighter%E2%80%99s-appeal-fails-$1345040$366366.htm

Trio spared jail over cock-fight ‘experiment’

THREE young men were spared jail after admitting organising a cock fight and causing unnecessary cruelty to animals.

The men – two from Darlington and one from Bishop Auckland – were seen pitting two cockerels against each other in a County Durham field.

Thomas Mounsey, 18, and 19-year-olds Walter David Welch and James Sheldon Welch, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court, yesterday.

The trio were arrested in a field near Durham Road, Bishop Auckland, on March 11, last year, after a horrified woman called the police.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said she saw one man violently shaking a bird “like you would shake water from a brush”.

Officers found cock-fighting paraphernalia at the scene, including 2in metal spurs and drugs to treat injuries and so avoid using vets.

Mr Campbell said the birds had been prepared for fighting, having had their natural spurs honed down, enabling steel spurs to be attached, and the birds’ wattles and combs removed.

It was accepted that the paraphernalia, found in a blood splattered van, had not been used at the time and nobody has admitted instigating the fight.

James Sheldon Welch, of Yarm Road, Darlington, admitted he was a regular gym user and steroids found among the drugs were his.

John Grierson, for Walter David Welch, of Honeypot Lane, Darlington, said he had been “at the wrong place at the wrong time” and “went along for the ride”.

Victoria Lamalle, represented James Sheldon Welch, described the trio’s actions as “an experimental attempt at cock fighting”.

One of the brown and green cockerels had to be destroyed by a vet and the other was treated for its injuries and a lice infestation.

Both Welchs were given ten weeks’ imprisonment, concurrent for each offence, suspended for 12 months, and made to do 80 hours unpaid work.

They were each ordered to pay £500 towards the RSPCA’s costs, estimated at £6,800, and banned from keeping animals for five years.

Mounsey, of Durham Road, Bishop Auckland, will be sentenced at Darlington Magistrates’ Court today, but it was indicated he should receive the same sentence.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4763525.Trio_spared_jail_over_cock_fight____experiment___/

Blackburn men admit dog fighting

TWO Blackburn men involved in an organised dog fight have been warned they may face prison.

Blackburn magistrates heard one of the dog handlers filmed the fight on his mobile phone But the footage was eventually presented to police and the RSPCA by an ex-girlfriend who had blue-toothed it to her own phone when Aftab Razzaq was out of the room.

Razzaq, 25, of Whalley New Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing an animal fight to take place on September 8 2008 and causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier. A charge of causing a dog fight to take place in March was withdrawn.

Ussman Hussain, 22, of St James Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to taking part in a dog fight. Charges of causing an animal fight to take place and being present at a dog fight were withdrawn.

The magistrates ordered the preparation of pre-sentence reports with all options including custody open to the sentencing bench on November 27.

An allegation that Rizwan Khalid, 20, of Boland Street, Blackburn, caused suffering to a dog was adjourned to the same date and two similar charges against Mehjabeen Ashraf, 23, of Clinton Street, were withdrawn.

Chris Wyatt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the evidence came from video footage from a mobile phone belonging to Razzaq.

Mr Wyatt said a number of people had gathered on the land in Troy Street on the day of the incident.

“The dog fight which subsequently took place has been filmed by someone who knew it was going to happen which suggests to me there was some pre-planning,” said Mr Wyatt.

The magistrates watched the video footage which showed a Staffordshire bull terrier and a pit bull terrier fighting although still on their leads. There was also footage of the two dogs either side of a fence snarling and barking at each other.

“The owners are effectively goading the dogs to fight and we say that was in preparation for the later incident,” said Mr Wyatt.

Peter King, defending Hussain, claimed his client was only out walking the family dog and had not gone to Troy Street for a pre-arranged fight.

Mr King said the Staffordshire bull terrier was a family pet.

Roger Pickles, defending Razzaq, said the incident was more of a “test fight”.

“The dogs fight with each other for about 40 seconds and are then pulled apart,” said Mr Pickles. “He accepts you will be looking at all options including custody.”

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/blackburn/4727096.Blackburn_men_admit_dog_fighting/

Woman bred illegal fighting dogs in home

A jobless woman bred illegal fighting dogs in her Wolverhampton home and sold them for up to £300 each, a court heard.

The pitbull terrier dogs were found when police swooped on the house in a drugs raid.

Katie Hill has now been warned that she could face time behind bars for breeding litters in what was described by a district judge as being a “commercial operation”. Twelve dogs have been kept in kennels ever since the raid at a cost of more than £38,000 and face being put down.

Hill, aged 24, of Filey Road, Bushbury, pleaded guilty to breeding a litter of 10 puppies from two adult dogs at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.

Miss Pushpa Sheemar, prosecuting, said: “On January 9, a drugs warrant was executed at her home address and some drugs were found, along with the pitbull-type dogs which were seized.

“There was a large adult male, a heavily pregnant female and five puppies. The pregnant female later gave birth to a litter of 12 puppies but only five survived.

“In interview, the defendant admitted they were pitbull dogs and she had sold them for between £200 and £300 per dog from previous litters.”

Hill, who is on jobseekers allowance and looking after her boyfriend’s two children while he is in prison, was fined £500 for possession of cocaine, Miss Sheemar added.

After initially pleading not guilty to breeding from fighting dogs, she changed her plea to guilty yesterday before her trial started. She has been bailed pending sentencing on October 28.

District Judge Michael Wheeler warned Hill she was facing prison, saying: “This is a very serious offence and I am not prepared to rule out custody at this stage. This was for commercial gain – this was a commercial operation.”

Mrs Hina Paw, defending, said Hill was not aware at the time the animals were fighting dogs.

http://www.expressandstar.com/2009/10/22/woman-bred-illegal-fighting-dogs-in-home/