June 2023

They treated their dogs in the most horrific way – but these owners won’t go to jail

A man and a woman who were exposed for keeping their pet dogs in the most horrific conditions have been spared a jail sentence.

Rebecca Moore and Andrew Thomas have been disqualified for keeping all animals indefinitely after inspectors from the RPSCA were met with shocking scenes at their home in Bolton.

Ryan King, who investigated the pair for the animal charity, found the decaying remains of a dog and described seeing faeces covering the floor of the property.

“The conditions inside were awful – even though I had my face mask the smell was dreadful, a mix of faeces, ammonia and decay,” he told Bolton Crown Court.

A total of eight live animals, including three French bulldogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and four cats were found at the property on Tudor Avenue in Farnworth.

Moore, 44, and Thomas, 42, both received a prison sentence of two years, but this was suspended for 18 months. They have also been banned from keeping pets for the foreseeable.

The court heard that the RSPCA first attended the property on July 4 last year after the charity’s emergency line received a complaint about the condition the animals were kept in.

In his witness statement, Mr King said he found rubbish and mess all over the counters of the kitchen and spotted tins of dog food on the floor which were all empty.

“There was rubbish and faeces everywhere. There were three dog cages in the room, two were filthy and the other was at an angle so that a dog could not get into it,” he said.

“On the sofa, which had been ripped up to the point I could see the springs, I found the remains of a dog – a jaw bone, part of the skull, clumps of black fur and a grey flea collar.

“The bathroom had faeces and rubbish on the floor, and in the bedroom next to the bathroom there was a rabbit cage on top of a set of drawers next to a bunk bed. Inside the cage was the remains of a rabbit.”

Several of the dogs were treated for fleas, and had itching and discharge in the eyes or ears. One dog was suffering from a prolapsed third eyelid gland and inflammation.

An expert vet witness stated that in his opinion, the four dogs and four cats were housed within an unhygienic environment raising concerns for the welfare of these animals, and that in his opinion, four of the animals had been caused to suffer, and that the needs of all nine animals had not been met.

All the living animals were seized by police and placed into the care of the RSPCA, where they will now be found new homes.

Moore and Thomas were also handed a community sentence involving a rehabilitation activity requirement of 20 days, as well as 300 hours of unpaid work.

They were sentenced on June 8 at Bolton Crown Court for causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs, and for not taking steps to ensure that the needs of four dogs and four cats for which they were responsible, were met to the extent required by good practice.