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Northumberland woman left pet puppy and kitten to die

News from the courts.
News from the courts.

A Northumberland woman who abandoned her rented home and left a puppy and kitten to die has been prosecuted, five years after she was banned from keeping pets for a previous animal-cruelty offence.

Yesterday, Rebecca Wall, formerly of Canterbury Close, Ashington, appeared before North Northumbria Magistrates sitting at Mid and South Northumberland Magistrates Court, having pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team were called to the property on July, 27, 2017, by a distressed housing officer who had entered the abandoned property and discovered the animals.

A deceased black puppy was found in a bedroom with the door closed and a black and white kitten was found dead in the living room, also with the door closed. Both were without food or water.

The animals, both thought to be around 12 weeks old, were taken to St Clair Veterinary Care, in Blyth, where they were examined by the Senior Veterinary Surgeon. He confirmed that both animals had experienced unnecessary suffering and neglect.

One of Northumberland County Council animal welfare officers involved in the case said: “This is the worst case I have been involved with. The animals had clearly been left to die of starvation and dehydration. It was a mindless act of animal cruelty.”

Wall received a 14 week custodial sentence for each of the five charges, to run concurrently. This custodial sentence was suspended for 12 months. She is also required to undertake 15 days rehabilitation activity with the probation service.

Ms Wall was also disqualified from owning and keeping animals for 10 years, ordered to pay a total of £2,107 costs and £115 victim surcharge.

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “If you make a commitment to own a pet, then you must be able to care for it responsibly.

“Northumberland County Council will not tolerate any forms of animal neglect or cruelty and will pursue and prosecute offenders.

“This is the second animal cruelty offence Ms Wall has committed. In November 2013, she was disqualified for owning or keeping any animals for five years.

“Yet in 2017, while still subject to that disqualification, she registered a kitten and a puppy with a local veterinary practice and went on to commit this second appalling and shocking act of cruelty.”