Woman banned from keeping animals after abandoning bearded dragons in 'shocking state'

A woman has been banned from keeping animals for three years after leaving two bearded dragons in an empty property without appropriate heat, light, food or water - which caused one of them to die.

The RSPCA was contacted after the bearded dragons - one male, and one female - were found abandoned at the property, in "a shocking state".

One was severely emaciated while the other had suspected renal disease, parasitic infections and conjunctivitis.

The reptiles have complex needs, including a high requirement for heat and UVB lighting.

The RSPCA said the lizards' condition suggested they had been without necessary food and water for some time.

The cage where the dragons were found, within an empty property Credit: RSPCA Cymru

One of the bearded dragons had to be put to sleep due to the extent of his injuries, while the other was transferred to a specialist wildlife centre for rehoming.

Jayde Melanie Ross, 26, from Bettws, pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offencesand was banned from keeping all animals for a period of three years, as well as being ordered to pay £400 in costs, a £390 fine and a £31 surcharge.

Sophie Daniels, RSPCA Inspector, said: "We found these poor bearded dragons in a shocking state - with one barely moving as a consequence of her condition; and both appearing very lethargic, depressed and with their bones prominent.

“Bearded dragons have very complex needs - and Wales’ cool climate means heating facilities are essential. Leaving these animals without heat placed them in grave danger, and it beggars belief that more effort had not been made to retrieve these animals or make sure they were safe after the tenant left the property.

“Owning pets is a privilege - but what we saw here was a derelict of duty that sadly resulted in one bearded dragon losing his life; and another suffering unnecessarily for a prolonged period of time.

“Thankfully, it wasn’t too late for the other lizard - but this sad case is a stark reminder as to the complex needs these animals have; and the responsibilities of owners to meet those needs.”