Cruel mum and son had 'partially mummified' French bulldog called Gucci in their bathtub

A mother and son who starved a French bulldog to death and seriously neglected another have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

One of the dogs, named Gucci, was found dead and partially decomposed in a bathtub, Wigan Magistrates Court heard. The dog weighted just 3.5kg - around a third of the average weight of a healthy dog of that breed.

Susan Shaw, 60, and Jack Wynne, 30, both of Blakehall, Skelmersdale, in Lancashire, were sentenced on 9 April after pleading guilty to five animal welfare offences each.

When RSPCA officers visited the house they found Gucci and another dog, named Violet, who was severely dehydrated and malnourished - weighing 7.6kg. The dogs' feeding bowls were dry and there was no water for the animals.


An expert vet witness for the RSPCA said in their statement, presented to court, that police were called to the property and when they entered there was an “overwhelming smell”. The vet added: “Violet was found to be in a very thin bodily condition.

"The dog was shaking and when offered water drank it quickly. While upstairs [a police officer] found in the bath a deceased French Bulldog dog. The dog was decomposing and covered by a cloth and the bath also contained a number of red maggots that were crystalising.

Violet was malnourished and dehydrated when she was rescued by RSPCA officers
Violet was severely dehydrated and malnourished -Credit:RSPCA

“Some of the tissues were showing early signs of mummification. An estimate as to how long this animal had been deceased was several weeks to 18 months based upon the post mortem findings alone.”

A second vet who examined Violet found that she was underweight and had issues with her eyes and skin, adding that within three months of vet treatment she gained over 3kg (6.6lb) in weight and her eyes and skin started to improve.

The court heard that, six months prior to the incident, Gucci and Violet had been given to Shaw by her daughter’s friend, who was looking to rehome the dogs.

The friend said in a statement, which was presented to court: “I have a friend and her mum Sue Shaw had always liked Gucci since she was a pup. I had met Sue a couple of times and she seemed like a lovely person at that time. I mentioned to my friend about finding someone to look after my dogs for a while and she suggested her mum, Sue.

“Sue said yes and both she and my friend reassured me that they would be well looked after. I made a point of checking that she would be able to cope with taking on both the dogs and Sue Shaw said yes.”

Violet was malnourished and dehydrated when she was rescued by RSPCA officers
A snake and a fish were also found at the property and were signed over to the RSPCA’s care -Credit:RSPCA

RSPCA Inspector Vicki Brooks, who investigated for the animal charity, interviewed Shaw and Wynne. Her statement said: “[Wynne] initially claimed to have no knowledge of Gucci dying but later admitted he knew she had died and that it was his mum Susan that had told him to put her body in the bathtub.

"He gave no explanation for her cause of death other than she ate something on a walk, had vomited later that day then seemed fine, but the next day he woke up and she was dead. When asked who was responsible for what happened to Gucci and Violet his response was that it was both him and his mother.”

The post mortem examination showed that there was an “absence of material with the gastro-intestinal tract” and a cause of death was starvation or dehydration.

A snake and a fish were also found at the property and were signed over to the RSPCA’s care.

Shaw was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and Wynne was given a three-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. They were both ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £154 and each banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Violet made a full recovery and has now been rehomed.

Latest news from LancsLive