Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18530
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull), rodent/small mammal (pet)
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Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011


Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Matthew Pearson

A callous Wolverhampton man has pleaded guilty to 34 animal cruelty charges after he left his family's starving pet dog to feed on the remains of two of their cats.

Neglect shown by Matthew Pearson, 28, of Graiseley Lane, led to two cats, a dog, a rat and a hamster dying at his parents' house in Portway Road, Bilston.

Pearson was close to tears as Wolverhampton magistrates heard about an appalling catalog of crimes he had committed in February and March, while his parents were on a lengthy visit to his brother in Cornwall.

Presiding magistrate Richard Blundell, adjourning the case until September 13 for sentencing, warned Pearson he could face jail for the offenses under the Animal Welfare Act.

Roger Price, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court Pearson had failed to prevent the suffering of the animals, and had failed in his duty of care.

One emaciated bearded collie-type cross-breed dog Buster was found curled up dead in a basket in the kitchen.

Pearson, who had been given £1,515 by his mother to feed the animals, had neglected to do so, Mr Price said.

He said RSPCA inspector Jayne Bashford, who found Buster's body, had described the smell in the house as "almost unbearable" and had found feces caking every floor and furniture in the living room.

She then found two dismembered tortoiseshell cats, a dead hamster and a dead rat. A second collie-type dog, Beethoven, was found to be just one stage away from being emaciated, weighing 8kg instead of the usual 13kg.

Tests later revealed the desperate, scavenging dog had torn the cats apart, leaving them as no more than a bag of bones.

Mr Price said Pearson had "decided he just couldn't cope" with the animals after they had become unwell.

Pearson's solicitor Mohammed Ikram said he would make submissions when the defendant returned for sentencing.

Mr Blundell, granting Pearson unconditional bail, said: "It is quite an horrific case. We are not ruling out custody because of the nature and seriousness of the degree of harm caused."

References

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