Blackpool woman banned for life from keeping animals after shocking RSPCA cruelty case

Blackpool Magistrates said Kirsty Dunne’s cruel treatment of her four Lurchers was “the most shameful and shocking case of its kind we have come across” when she appeared before the court on Friday June 16th.

The charity’s animal welfare officers had been tipped off about the 39-year-old’s treatment of her dogs and visited her former home in Bloomfield Road.

One of the four dogs was in such a pitiful and starving condition that RSPCA officers initially thought it was dead, the court heard.

They found the dogs ‘starving and bitterly cold’ and one of the dogs, Charlie, only survived after being revived at an animal hospital.

The RSPCA said the extent of Dunne’s neglect had caused all four dogs ‘pain and suffering’. The dogs – Apollo, Charlie, Luna and Tilly – were seized and treated by the RSPCA. They have since recovered and will be put up for adoption.

Paul Ridehalgh, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court: “Charlie was extremely emaciated and the inspector thought rigor mortis had set in until he saw the animal breathe.

“He rushed the dog to the vet who used warm infusions to save him.”

Dunne, of Grasmere Road, Blackpool admitted four counts of animal cruelty and neglect by not providing food and water or caring for illness and suffering.

The court banned her for life from keeping any animals and handed her a 12 week jail term suspended for a year. She was also ordered to pay £554 costs.

“This is the most shameful and shocking case of its kind we have come across,” presiding magistrate Maureen Appleton told Dunne.

Brett Chappell, defending, said: “The gravity of the case is not lost on my client. This woman knows she has let down these animals monumentally.

"She is consumed by shame that she allowed them to live in such vile and horrendous conditions.”

But Dunne’s lawyer successfully argued against an immediate prison term, saying both she and one of her daughters suffered mental health issues.

"She hangs her head in shame and accepts she must be banned from having animals,” he said. “She needs reform and rehabilitation, not prison.”

Spared prison for a second time

It’s the second time the mum-of-threehas been spared prison.

In 2020, she appeared before Blackpool Magistrates where she confessed to stealing thousands of pounds from the Trinity Hospice charity shop in Central Drive, Blackpool.

Dunne admitted stealing more than £9,000 after being left in charge of the takings while employed as a manager at the charity shop.

She was handed a suspended prison sentence after claiming she would lose her home and her two teenage daughters would have to go into care if she was sent to prison.