Two found guilty of mistreating their pets

PUBLISHED: 15:52 04 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:02 28 May 2010

Two of the dead guinea pigs at the Smiths’ home

Two of the dead guinea pigs at the Smiths' home

A CHATTERIS couple have been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to guinea pigs which they let get so hungry they began eating each other. After being left without adequate food or water, the starving animals resorted to eating the bodies of the

A CHATTERIS couple have been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to guinea pigs which they let get so hungry they began eating each other.

After being left without adequate food or water, the starving animals resorted to eating the bodies of the dead animals. Many of the live animals were also suffering from untreated skin lesions.

Alison Smith, 34, and Paul Smith, 41, both previously of West Street, denied six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals when they appeared at Cambridge Magistrates' Court.

After a two-day hearing Alison Smith was banned from keeping guinea pigs for 18 months, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 costs.

Paul Smith was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 costs.

The guinea pigs were discovered in August last year after they had been left in the care of Mr Smith while Mrs Smith was away for several days. The starving animals began eating the dead ones. One was found with almost all of its flesh gnawed away.

In finding the couple guilty, the chairman of the magistrates said: "Mr Smith looked after the guinea pigs for three days, but just moving their run to a different part of the garden was not adequate.

Mrs Smith should have taken reasonable steps to make sure the animals were looked after."

RSPCA inspector Clare Procter said: "We are pleased that the court recognised the severity of the offences in finding both defendants guilty. It highlights that people absolutely must make sure their pets are provided with an adequate standard of care at all times.

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