Braunstone man handed animal ban after causing unnecessary suffering to cat

A cat under a blanket
-Credit: (Image: Prystai)

A Braunstone man caused unnecessary suffering to his cat which was suffering from a skin disease. Ashley Graveling said his poor mental health was a factor in the lack of care which has now seen him banned from keeping animals.

Graveling, of Herle Avenue in Braunstone, had come to the attention of RSPCA inspectors after concerns about the welfare of his pets were raised. Fears about the animals being left unattended were also flagged with RSPCA teams between August and September last year.

Despite numerous visits by inspectors, Graveling, 27, failed to act on advice about the care required for his cat Dolly. She was suffering from a skin disease that left her with multiple crusting lesions and scabs which risked infection.

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Vets also found that Dolly was suffering badly with weight loss. Examinations indicated she had been provided an unsuitable diet which left her hungry. The diet also caused Dolly to suffer from a lack of energy to further her suffering.

Dolly’s condition saw her removed from Graveling’s care and handed over to the RSPCA. A rabbit who was also at Graveling’s home was removed too, with both animals now said to be “doing well” in the care of the RSPCA.

Graveling had claimed Dolly’s poor condition was the result of his suffering with mental health issues. He said his problems meant he struggled to look after himself, let alone Dolly and the rabbit. He admitted he should have sought help for the pair’s condition.

The RSPCA subsequently charged Graveling with two offences under the Animal Welfare Act on the grounds of causing unnecessary suffering to Dolly. He appeared before Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 22, where he admitted to failing to act upon the cat’s skin condition and helping address her weight loss issues and general poor condition.

Graveling was handed an eight-week jail term, suspended for 18 months. He was also disqualified from keeping all animals for five years and ordered to pay £150 costs and £154 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Herchy Boal said: “The RSPCA had tried to help this defendant on a number of occasions - but he did not take our offer of support. The RSPCA urges anyone struggling to take care of their animal to ask for help and act on advice, rather than neglecting them and leaving them to suffer.”

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