Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Sarah Ridings, 39 starved 5 dogs and a parrot

Westhoughton, England

March 11, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
  failing to ensure the welfare of animals 5 dogs, 1 parrot Convicted Bolton Magistrates Court

A mother of eight has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after starving her five dogs until they were emaciated. The skeletal dogs — one with a metal spring lodged in its throat — were rescued by the RSPCA after they were found in their owner’s filthy back garden without food or water.

Sarah Ridings admitted causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs and four counts of failing to ensure the welfare of animals.

Prosecutor Tony Stock told Bolton Magistrates Court that two RSCPA inspectors attended the 39-year-old’s Westhoughton home on March 11 and noticed the dogs were underweight.

Ridings and her brother were confrontational with RSPCA officers — and police were called to the home in Greenfold Lane.

Veterinarian Angus McKenzie said Lola, a Great Dane, had ulcerated and inflamed gums due to a metal spring lodged in her lower teeth. Tia, a St Bernard, was described as “weak and poor”, with a coat in an “atrocious state”. She had nearly doubled in weight six weeks after she was rescued, the court heard. The other dogs — Teddy, Kyra and Kia — were all in a similar condition.

Mr Stock said: “Their ribs and spines were exposed and the lumber muscles concaved. “There was no clinical reason for disease and when offered food the dogs ate ravenously. “The veterinarian concluded the only cause of the dogs’ poor condition was starvation.” Mr Stock added: “The environment was inadequate and inappropriate. Their coats were matted and covered in feces.“In his professional opinion the person responsible had failed in a duty of care to all of them and the dogs had been caused to suffer unnecessarily for at least many weeks, months or even years.”

Ridings attorney, James Towey, told the court Riding had struggled to cope with the death of her brother in March. Ridings, a former caregiver, also claimed she fell into financial difficulties following the breakdown of her marriage in December last year. Mr Towey said: “The sudden death of her brother was an absolute hammer blow. “She found herself in a very dark place and prioritized looking after her children and the dogs proved too much to deal with.”

Inspectors also found a pet parrot in the home with no water or food in its cage, however, Ridings was told she could keep the bird. The defendant was fined £2,000 and ordered to carry out 220 hours of community service.


the bolton new RSPCA