North Derbyshire woman given animal ban after dogs left in cage with no food and water
A woman has been banned from keeping all animals for five years after her two emaciated dogs were found left in a small cage in her home with no food and water.
Simone Maughan, 27, of Westlea, Clowne, pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences when she appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court last Monday.
The court heard how she had left two Staffordshire Bull Terrier type dogs, one called Zena (aged 6) and her daughter Lola (4) in a small unsuitable cage in the kitchen of her house.
The RSPCA were alerted after a member of the public reported that the starving pets had been abandoned.
Inspector Helen Mead arrived at the address on April 27 and found the emaciated dogs locked in a small cage in the kitchen with no food and water.
She also found a bearded dragon in the living room which was kept in a vivarium with no light source or heat source, leaving the reptile close to death.
She immediately took the pets for emergency veterinary treatment and all have now recovered from their ordeal in RSPCA care.
She said: “I was really worried when I saw how frail the dogs were with all their bones protruding, they were in a very poor condition but were so friendly.
“I am delighted that in RSPCA care they are both now thriving and are looking for their forever homes.
“Through normal feeding they were able to return to their healthy body weight. But it could have been so different if this situation had been allowed to continue.
“There no excuse not to provide the basics of food and water for pets so anyone who is struggling should ask for help at an early stage.”
She added that when she came across the bearded dragon, called Vegas, she already thought he had died. But with veterinary care she was also able to recover from her ordeal and has now been re-homed with a specialist reptile keeper.
She said: “There was no UV light for the bearded dragon and without the correct light and heat her body was shutting down and she was close to death as it meant she was unable to eat.
“Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet.
“People may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home.
“This is why the RSPCA would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them.”
Maughan, who now lives in Cresswell, contacted the RSPCA two weeks after the dogs were seized by police and offered herself for interview.
In mitigation the court heard how Maughan was suffering depression at the time and was of previous good character.
As well as the ban on keeping all animals for five years, Maughan was also given a 12-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months.
She was ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work and carry out an eight-day rehabilitation order. She also must pay £300 costs and a £150 victim surcharge.
Both Zola and Zena are ready for adoption now from the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch of the RSPCA.