Brighouse women banned from keeping animals
TWO women have been banned from keeping animals after their dogs were found living in soiled and unsanitary conditions.
Dobby, an elderly female mastiff, and Mickey Blue, a male Staffordshire bull terrier, were removed from a property in Brighouse on May 17 last year.
But sadly they had to be put to sleep after both developed forms of cancer.
Hayley Warmisham, 41, and Ann Warmisham, 71, both of Whinney Hill Park, in Brighouse have been banned from keeping animals for a total of 17 years between them - 10 for the former and seven for the latter.
They pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences on January 23 this year and were sentenced at Kirklees Magistrates' Court last Tuesday following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
The court heard that RSPCA animal rescue officer Kris Walker had previously issued a warning notice to Hayley Warmisham in October 2021.
The flat was full of rubbish and there was faeces and urine in every room.
She was advised to improve the living conditions, clip the dogs’ nails and treat them for fleas.
Mr Walker said about that visit: “On entry into the property I was overtaken by the smell of ammonia, which was making my eyes water even with a face covering on, the environment was disgusting.
"It was full of rubbish, it was dirty and there was faeces and puddles of urine in every room.
"All the flooring seen in the hallway, kitchen and bathroom were stained with urine.”
The RSPCA made further attempts to check on the welfare of the dogs in person and by phone, to which Hayley Warmisham said both animals had been seen by a vet.
An inspector from the charity, Demi Hodby, visited the property on May 17, 2022 and Dobby and Mickey Blue were found contained in the filthy bathroom, the court heard.
The flat smelt so strongly of ammonia that the officer’s eyes began to water on entering the property, which was cluttered and dirty throughout.
Ms Hodby said: “When Hayley Warmisham opened the bathroom door there was a very strong smell of faeces and urine, much stronger than the smell already inside the house.
“The entire floor was soaked in urine and there were multiple piles of faeces in the room."
The officer was told the dogs were not always locked inside the bathroom and that they were only there due to workmen coming to look at the boiler.
Ms Hodby said: “She said that the water on the floor was due to the water leaking from the boiler, but it was clear it was not water as it smelt very strongly of ammonia and it was also yellow in colour and not clear.”
Thirteen-year-old Dobby was bright, alert and in good body condition but had very overgrown nails and was struggling to walk.
Mickey Blue, who was approximately five, was in similarly good body condition but had very sore and red eyes.
The court heard it was clear that conditions had not improved and the dogs were removed, with Hayley Warmisham giving consent for them to be taken for veterinary treatment.
A vet from the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where both dogs were seen, gave evidence in the case.
She said Dobby had been suffering from chronic, untreated cystitis for a period of up to five months and had reportedly been displaying obvious signs of having a urinary/bladder issue - including toileting very frequently in the property.
She added any reasonable dog-owning member of the public would have taken their pet to a vet much sooner.
Mickey Blue had bilateral conjunctivitis and the vet said it may have been caused by his chronic exposure to noxious and irritating substances such as ammonia in the soiled environment where the dogs were kept.
The court was told that both women had failed to meet the dogs’ needs by not providing them with a suitable clean, dry, spacious and comfortable living environment and opportunities for them to exercise and express natural and enjoyable behaviours.
They had also failed to take them for prompt veterinary care.
Both dogs were put on a treatment plan when they were taken away and responded well to anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.
But while in RSPCA care they both developed forms of cancer and a vet made the decision to put them to sleep - with their owners’ consent - to end their suffering.
Both women were given 12-month conditional discharges at court.
Alongside their bans, Hayley Warmisham was ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £22, while Ann Warmisham was told to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £22.
In mitigation the court heard that Ann Warisham accepted that her property was not an environment which was suitable for her and her daughter, let alone her animals.
Hayley Warisham admitted she was not in a position to provide the financial support the animals needed.