A WOMAN has been convicted of animal cruelty after police found an assortment of neglected pets at her home – with one having to be put down.
Officers went to Jacqueline Jackson’s home in Conway Road, Hylton Castle, to investigate reports of children having been left in the house, Sunderland magistrates heard.
When they arrived at 6.35am on June 28, they opened the unlocked front door to be greeted with “an overpowering smell”, RSPCA prosecutor Denise Jackman told the court.
Inside, they found dog faeces on the floor throughout the house, including in the kitchen and children’s bedrooms. There were overflowing cat litter trays, rubbish and flies. Three cats and a small greyhound-cross dog were found in the house, with no access to food or water, and there was no cat flap for the cats to go outside.
In a shed in the garden, they found a malnourished ferret, surrounded by pheasant feathers and what appeared to be a deer’s skull.
“When water was put down, it was clear the animals had not drunk for some time,” Mrs Jackman said. “It was clear they had to fend for themselves.
“There were four animals in the house, surrounded by rubbish, putting them at risk of injury or poisoning.”
Jackson, 37, then arrived home in an ambulance. She was shouting and swearing and was arrested, the court heard. The animals were later removed form the house by the RSPCA.
On veterinary examination, one of the cats, described as being in “poor condition” had to be put down. He was covered in sores and had a distended abdomen, possibly from an underlying medical condition being left untreated.
The second cat had a severe ear infection, causing bleeding into the ear canal. The third cat was in good condition.
The ferret was “severely underweight”, which is especially serious in an animal of this type a rapid drop in blood sugar can be fatal, the court heard.
Jackson failed to turn up for her trial and was found guilty in her absence of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals and two counts of failing to ensure their welfare.
The magistrates issued a warrant for her arrest.