Ipswich mother sentenced after ‘horrific’ neglect of two dogs

PUBLISHED: 14:46 10 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:46 10 June 2015

Jerry as he was found at Leanne Walsworth's home in Hayman Road, Ipswich.

Jerry as he was found at Leanne Walsworth's home in Hayman Road, Ipswich.


An Ipswich mother who neglected two dogs resulting in one needing its leg amputated has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Rocky as he was found at Leanne Walsworth's home in Hayman Road, Ipswich.Rocky as he was found at Leanne Walsworth's home in Hayman Road, Ipswich.

Leanne Walsworth admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Lhasa Apso and to not meeting the needs of a Yorkshire terrier at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 28-year-old was given a 12 week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

On February 19, RSPCA inspector Nicky Thorne went to Miss Walsworth’s home in Hayman Road to find the rear garden covered in faeces, the court heard.

Lhasa Apso Rocky was “reluctant to move” and its leg looked “stiff, swollen and almost rotten” with its hair matted to the point of being in “solid clumps”.

Rocky as he is now after being cared for by the RSPCA.Rocky as he is now after being cared for by the RSPCA.

The dogs were taken to a veterinary surgery for care.

Ms Throne said: “The matting of his [Rocky’s] fur got so bad that it took hours to clip him. When we managed to get access to his leg we discovered that it had been left for so long that the skin and disease had rotted away, and the bone had become so infected that it was crumbling.

“It was too late to be able to do anything by that stage so poor Rocky lost his leg.”

Yorkshire terrier Jerry had some matting and overgrown nails and the vet determined that the dog’s needs had not been met, the court was told.

Paul Booth, defending, said Miss Walsworth had always relied on her father to help with the care of the dogs, which she had owned for around three years.

However, he said her father recently suffered a severe heart attack, meaning the care of the animals had become “less of a concern”.

Miss Walsworth separated from the father of her eight-year-old son shortly before he was born and had since been holding down two jobs to “try and make ends meet”, Mr Booth added.

He said in an interview, Miss Walsworth had explained that she loved the dogs and felt “disgusted” with herself for how she had treated her pets, vowing never to own another animal again.

Mr Booth concluded: “What we have is a young lady who simply got overwhelmed with the whole situation of her personal life and she now feels thoroughly ashamed.”

Miss Walsworth was ordered to pay a £80 victim surcharge, £400 prosecution charges and was disqualified from keeping, owning or controlling all animals for 10 years.

Speaking after the hearing, the RSPCA inspector Ms Thorne said: “Rocky’s condition was truly horrific and one of the worst things the vet and I have ever seen.

“What makes the situation especially sad is that he was that he was previously a well cared for family pet, and the owner did not set out to be neglectful or cruel and has been very remorseful.”

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