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Carmarthenshire woman receives animal ban after causing suffering to reptiles

23 May 2023 3 minute read
Three Leopard Geckos and a Chinese Crested Water Dragon suffered

A Carmarthenshire woman has been disqualified from keeping mammals and reptiles for 10 years after causing unnecessary suffering to four reptiles.

Kayley Elizabeth Pugh of The Beaches, Llandysul, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 18 May, after previously pleading guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They were that she caused unnecessary suffering to two Leopard Geckos known as Thor and Luna and a Chinese Crested Water Dragon called Maverick, and also caused unnecessary suffering to a Leopard Gecko named Thora.

She was sentenced to a 12 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months, 150 hours unpaid work, 12 rehab days with probation, £400 costs £154 victim surcharge and was disqualified from keeping all mammals and reptiles for 10 years.

The court heard that the owner of the reptiles had asked Pugh to look after them for a period of time, but when they went to collect them on 27 August 2022, four reptiles were dead – four others were still alive.

In a written statement presented to the court, inspector Keith Hogben, said he was shown several vivariums which had been collected from an address in Alltwalis.

“I looked into the vivariums and was informed when they were found there was no water for the reptiles and no heat,” he said.

One vivarium contained two dead Leopard Geckos, Thor and Luna, and another vivarium contained a Chinese Water Dragon named Maverick who was also dead.

Another vivarium contained a Crested Gecko named Oryx who was found dead. While two Emerald Swifts named Bow and Arrow, a Leopard Gecko named Thor and a Bearded Dragon called Hoggle were all found alive.

A written statement from a veterinary surgeon, who examined the dead and living reptiles, said the four dead reptiles had “advanced states of decomposition” which “indicates that no daily care had been provided to these animals”.


Fly eggs were noted in the oral cavity and on the skin of two carcasses.

Thor, Luna and Maverick were all described to be of an “emaciated condition”. While Crested Gecko Oryx was presented as a “mummified carcass” which meant it was not possible for an internal examination.

In the vet report it was concluded that: “The three animals as evidenced by their emaciated body conditions, low weights relative to body length and absence of food in their digestive systems are highly likely to have died from starvation, either because food provision was inadequate or absent or because the animals were in poor health and had become inappetent.”

In addition, it was stated that Leopard Gecko Thora, due to her “poor condition and ocular infection and superficial skin injuries had in my opinion been subjected to unnecessary suffering for a number of weeks”.

Sadly soon after coming into RSPCA care Thora died.

Following sentencing, RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This is a very sad case where these deaths were completely avoidable if they had been given the proper care.

“RSPCA urges potential owners – or those given responsibility for these animals – to research and look into what is required in the care of their exotic pet first before taking one on so they know what is involved.”

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