RSPCA shocked after birds found crammed into shed

One of the rescued owls.
One of the rescued owls.

A woman has been banned from keeping birds for life after 13 owls and various other birds were found crammed into her garden shed.

Jackie Cullen, 67, of South Street, Seahouses, was found guilty of animal welfare offences at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Friday. She was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation.

The court heard the RSPCA was called to her previous address in Tower Road, St Leonard’s, in December, 2012, where a goose, a gull, a pigeon and 13 owls were found in cages in the shed. They were in a thin and poor condition, with not enough room to open their wings. They had no drinking water and had untreated eye ulcers and ingrowing talons.

RSPCA Inspector Cora Peters said: “It took my breath away when I walked into that shed and saw the rows of these beautiful birds crammed into tiny, filthy cages.

“There was just not enough room for them and they were leading miserable lives. It was heartbreaking to see.

“The defendant is a habitual collector of birds and there is a real concern she may reoffend, so we ask anyone who knows of her collecting birds again to call our cruelty line.”

The birds included a Bengal eagle owl, chaco owl, snowy owl and a great horned owl. They have all been successfully rehomed with a specialist.

If you suspect a case of animal cruelty or neglect, ring the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.