Battersea Woman Jailed for Animal Cruelty

In one case Cindy Hancock left dog in cupboard shaft for three days

Maya and Oscar were both found with serious eye infections
Maya and Oscar were both found with serious eye infections. Picture: RSPCA

A 36-year-old woman from Battersea has been jailed after being found guilty of five offences of animal cruelty.

In one case, Cindy Hancock who lived on Charlotte Despard Avenue left a dog for three days after it had fallen a great distance down a riser cover shaft in a block of flats.

Two of the dogs she owned, Maya and Oscar were found with serious untreated eye conditions.

She was found guilty of five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 on 17 June following a trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court at which she appeared by video link.

The District Judge sentenced Ms Hancock to a total of 35 weeks imprisonment, and disqualified her from owning all animals for 10 years at a sentencing hearing on Friday (26 August)/

At the trial, the court heard that the RSPCA was asked to assist the London Fire Brigade in December 2021, after a crew from Battersea Fire Station had carried out a rescue of a black Spaniel dog from a riser cupboard, where the dog had become trapped.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Mat Hawkins examined the dog, known as Maya, as well a second dog at the property, known as Oscar, and due to concerns he had for the dogs’ welfare, he transported them to a local vet to be examined, with consent from Ms Hancock.

ARO Hawkins said in his witness statement, “Cindy Hancock showed me the hole where Maya was stuck down and confirmed that the dog had been there for three days before she called fire and rescue. The hole was so deep I didn’t manage to see the bottom of the area.”

He transferred both dogs to RSPCA Finsbury Park Animal Hospital as both were underweight and had eye infections. They were examined by a vet, who stated that both dogs were suffering.

The court also heard, in the vet’s witness statement, that Oscar ‘was clearly underweight on presentation and his blood profile fitted with a diagnosis of malnutrition. He gained a substantial amount of weight during his stay at Finsbury Park RSPCA’.

The statement added that Oscar had ‘a painful eye condition which went untreated by the owner, and they had therefore failed in their duty to prevent unnecessary suffering in this animal. The ulcer was treated using topical antibiotic eye drops and eye gel, and healed well with treatment’.

Speaking about Maya, the vet said in their witness statement ‘it is deeply concerning that the dog was left in a service shaft for that period of time, during which her needs were not met and she would have suffered both physically and psychologically. It is extremely clear in this case that through ignoring the eye injury, failing to provide adequate nutrition and failing to rescue the dog from the service shaft as quickly as possible, the owner’s actions have resulted in significant and unnecessary suffering’.

Maya as she is now
Maya as she is now. Picture: RSPCA

Oscar has been found a loving new home
Oscar is looking for a loving new home. Picture: RSPCA

Both Oscar and Maya recovered well in the care of the RSPCA, and now that the case has concluded, both dogs can be found loving new homes.

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August 31, 2022