Submitted by Steve on 17:55, 2nd Aug, 2017 | 0

Last October the GSPCA were involved in rescuing 4 reptiles some of which were so thin they were lucky to still be alive.

After months of care at the GSPCA the owner of the animals attended the Magistrates Court in St Peter Port yesterday.

The animals involved were 2 corn snakes, a royal python and a bearded dragon.  When they were rescued it was apparent that they hadn’t been cared for in some time due to the state of the enclosures which were extremely dirty and not appropriate for the animals due to the fittings and lack of provisions.

The bearded dragon was without doubt the thinnest of its species that the GSPCA had ever seen and so emaciated the team were extremely worried of the chance it would survive.

Lorna Prince GSPCA Animal Welfare Manager said “The condition that these three snakes and bearded dragon were found were the worst we have ever seen at the GSPCA.”

“We investigate cruelty complaints all year round but we have never had to deal with such starvation in reptiles.”

“Reptiles need specialist facilities and owners who know what they are doing and prepared for years if not decades of care which sadly was not the case for these 4 which thankfully now after months of care at the GSPCA have been nursed back to health.”

“The adult bearded dragon weighed just 74g and was wafer thin, and the tangerine corn snake only 392g at 132cm long so you could clearly see their skeletons.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “Yesterday the 26 year old owner of four reptiles that we rescued last October was taken to court for cruelty to his pets and another offence.”

“In over 20 years in animal welfare I can honestly say I have never seen such emaciation in living pet reptiles.”

“How the bearded dragon was still alive shows the extremes these animals must have to go to, but if they hadn’t have been rescued when they were many have agreed that they wouldn’t have been alive for much longer due to the lack of care and neglect they had suffered.”

“This is the first ever reptile cruelty case under the Animal Welfare Ordinance Act 2012 and the team at the GSPCA can now find the now healthy reptiles new and caring homes.”  

“In recent years there has been a huge increase in reptiles owned across Guernsey and the UK and sadly we have seen this at the GSPCA with the numbers of strays, cruelty cases and those unwanted.”

“As a result of the Magistrates Court proceedings yesterday the owner has been banned from keeping lizards for 10 years and snakes for 2 years and also received a fine for a drugs offence.”

“I believe these animals are only alive today at the GSPCA thanks to the intervention of those involved in their rescue and care.”

“Its an extremely positive result to prevent this person from committing this again in the near future and hopefully learn from his actions in what could have resulted in the death of his pets.”

Lorna continued “Sarah Creasey was the GSPCA Animal Welfare Officer that had the hard job with members of the GSPCA team rescuing the poor reptiles and starting the process with the authorities at the time and she attended court yesterday on behalf of the GSPCA along with the Guernsey States Vet.”

“We work extremely closely with the Guernsey Police and many authorities in Guernsey with not just cruelty cases but for many reasons.”

“If anyone has any concerns of cruelty or neglect to animals in Guernsey you can call us on 01481 257261.”

Steve continued “The most recent incident we are appealing for information is the 5 ducks killed on a road in the Vale last Friday night and anyone with information please call Guernsey Police on 01481 725111 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

“We currently have a number of bearded dragons and snakes in need of homes at the GSPCA and now have these additional 3 snakes and lizard.”

“Since being in our care we have called the bearded dragon Nellie, the python Diana and the corn snakes Tango and Clover.”

“If anyone is interested in adopted any reptile from the GSPCA we ask them to pop in complete a form and then we ensure they have the facilities and knowledge to care for them.”

“With over 450 animals in our care we are extremely busy at the GSPCA and with no States aid every penny helps make a huge difference to the animals in our care.”

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Yvonne Chauvel GSPCA Senior Animal Care Assistant said “Nellie was so thin when she was rescued as was Tango the corn snake.”

“It is wonderful to see how well they are now and we are now trying to find them a good home after the owner was banned in court yesterday.”

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