Woman let rabbits starve to death their own hutch

The two dead rabbits discovered in Margaret Shah's back garden.
The two dead rabbits discovered in Margaret Shah's back garden.

A mum-of-three has been banned from keeping animals after her two pet rabbits starved to death while lying in their own excrement.

Margaret Shah told the RSPCA it was her children’s responsibility to care for the animals, which were reported to the charity by a concerned neighbour.

When an officer arrived at the family home on February 20, they found the animals lying in up to eight inches of their own excrement, with no evidence of any food or water.

A vet examined the rabbits, and estimated they had not been fed for three weeks.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard Shah aged 38, of Westfield Road, Duston, Northampton, had “blotted out” the care of the rabbits.

Robert Broughton, prosecuting, said: “While she had initially fed them, the care was passed to her two children, but after a while they got bored.

“The rabbits were simply not cared for, not fed, and died.”

Andrew Gibson, mitigating, said Shah was struggling with debts of £4,500 and had “problems in her life,” which included her marriage breaking down, and the deaths of her father-in-law and a close family friend.

Shah, who had no previous convictions, was given a 12 month community order, was ordered to play £500 costs, and was banned from keeping animals for three years.