Pensioner Handed Lifetime Ban From Keeping Animals After Leaving Over 70 Animals Rotting In “Unimaginable” Neglect

February 24, 2017 | by | 0 Comments
Surviving degus found at Grasmere Road.

Surviving degus found at Grasmere Road.

A pensioner left more than 70 animals to starve and rot – causing “unimaginable” neglect and suffering.

John Gosnell, 72, abandoned his pets in such horrific conditions that out of an estimated 74 animals, only three degus and one rabbit survived.

One of the degus – a herbivore rodent similar to a guinea pig – had even turned to cannibalising the corpses of its dead cage mates to survive.

An RSPCA inspector called the incident “one of the most disturbing investigations” he’d been part of.

RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson, said: “The level of neglect and suffering caused to these animals is unimaginable.”

On June 21 2016, RSPCA and police attended the Gosnell’s home in Blackpool, Lancs., following reports that animals had been left behind.

**Warning Graphic Images**

Dead bearded dragons found at Grasmere Road.

Dead bearded dragons found at Grasmere Road.

Officers located several small cages on the ground floor containing the remains of small rodents.

One cage contained four live degus with no food, water or clean bedding, and six to eight further deceased degus lining the bottom of the cage.

The smallest of the degus died after a few days in vet care.

The other seven cages in the downstairs room contained around 50 deceased rodents, including rats, mice and hamsters.

Officers were not able to determine exact numbers due to the level of decomposition.

On the second floor officers found a number of vivariums containing two Nile Monitors, one Black Throated Monitor, seven bearded dragons and a large constrictor snake.

All of these animals were deceased.

**Warning Graphic Images**

Dead rodents found at Grasmere Road.

Dead rodents found at Grasmere Road.

The environments of these animals was found to be inadequate by a vet who specialised in exotics.

More than two weeks later, workers clearing out the property discovered a black and white female rabbit living on the ground floor under piles of bin bags.

The animal was also found to be suffering due to being underweight and having an eye problem.

An RSPCA inspector who spoke with Gosnell before entering the property was told there were no animals inside.

**Warning Graphic Images**

A dead monitor lizard.

A dead monitor lizard.

In a later interview he said this was because he believed they would have died in the time since he last fed them.

Mr Larsson said: “On entering the house it became apparent it was in a terrible state with an overpowering smell. The conditions were appalling.

“The surviving three degus and the rabbit were all successfully rehomed by Blackpool and North Lancashire RSPCA Branch.”

Gosnell was banned for life from keeping animals.

Category: News

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