A man who abandoned his ex-wife’s rabbit after the break-up of their marriage has been fined £450 after the pet grew teeth like a WOOLLY MAMMOTH.
Cruel Gary Roebuck, 54, kept Flossie in a small hutch in his back garden after his spouse moved out and didn’t take the animal with her.
A neighbour spotted the poor condition the bunny was living in at his property in Arnold, Notts., and alerted the RSPCA on March 5.
When vets inspected Flossie they found she had “grown abnormally long” teeth which resembled a woolly mammoth.
Tragically the rabbit, which had also contracted dermatitis, had to be put down.
Roebuck, now of Top Valley, Nottingham, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between February 27 and March 5 at Nottingham Magistrates Court.
He was fined £450 and ordered to pay cost of £200 and a £45 government surcharge on Tuesday (23/8) but was not banned from owning animals.
Chairman of the bench Sharon Jamieson said: “We do not accept the mitigation that you didn’t know the rabbit was suffering.
“It suffered for some considerable time and that eventually resulted in its death.”
Prosecutor Paul Wright said RSPCA Inspector Susan Hammond found Flossie had no water and her feeding bowl was half full of what appeared to be muesli.
Nobody was at the house when she visited and Hamilton didn’t respond to a notice left on the hutch.
When a vet examined the rabbit, he found Flossie’s incisor teeth had “grown abnormally long and had not been trimmed or cared for”.
Mr Wright added: “The rabbit looked emaciated so far as its body condition was concerned and the teeth contributed to a digestion problem.”
The rabbit also suffered from dermatitis, partly caused by a lack of bedding which forced it to lie on the base of the hutch, and was put down to prevent further suffering.
Ian Boddy, defending, said: “Mr Roebuck is not a cruel man. He has a dog which is perfectly well and watered.
“The dog is Mr Roebuck’s. The rabbit was not his, it was his wife’s. She got it from a friend and she is the one who looked after the rabbit.
“When she left Mr Roebuck, she didn’t take the rabbit with her. He asked her to take the rabbit with her – he said he didn’t know anything about rabbits.
“She refused and said at her new place, the landlord would not allow a rabbit. He is man enough to say ‘I take responsibility for what has happened to the rabbit.’
“I think that is very bold.
“He did not realise the rabbit was finding it difficult or that it was becoming emaciated.
“He wants to take responsibility for something which came about with his wife‘s leaving and the house being repossessed.
“He has always been a dog owner. The only company he has now is a dog.”