Hyde woman banned from keeping animals after pet rabbit starved to death

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Bing the rabbit was found in this hutch Credit: RSPCA

A woman from Hyde has been banned from keeping animals for ten years after allowing her pet rabbit to starve to death.

Bing, a young white Lionhead rabbit was discovered in a filthy hutch with no food or water at the property at Garden Street in February 2022.

The RSPCA sent an Inspector to the address after being alerted to concerns for the animal’s welfare.

Inspector Beth Fazackerley was shown into the back garden and said: "Against the rear wall of the property within the garden stood a large, pale blue two-storey hutch.

"The top floor of the hutch was bare except for some faeces and an overturned log tunnel/bridge type structure.

"Attached to the mesh door pointing into the hutch was a roller-ball water bottle.

"It was completely empty.

"On the bottom floor of the hutch was an empty and dry green bowl, an empty and dry human food tray, multiple faecal droppings - collectively covering around a third of the bare wooden floor - and a rabbit laying on its right side on top of some faeces on the right hand side of the hutch."

Sara Holland was given the punishment at Tameside Magistrates Court Credit: Google streetmap

Sara Holland, 27, who owned Bing, told the RSPCA she had gone outside the previous evening and found her pet rabbit dead.

She said she had assumed Bing has suffered a heart attack as she had been "scared by one of her dogs" a few days previously.

Holland eventually agreed that Inspector Fazackerley could take Bing to a vet so the cause of death could be established and it was explained to her that police would be asked to seize the rabbit’s body as evidence as part of the investigation.

A post mortem concluded Bing the rabbit had died as a result of "prolonged malnutrition".

Holland was handed the disqualification order at Tameside Magistrates Court on 8 February after being found guilty in her absence of two charges contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In addition to the ten-year disqualification order, Holland was also given a 12-month community order with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and fined £120.

The court was told she had mental health issues and had had relationship troubles in the past.

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