Margate woman in court after her dog was found ‘crawling’ with 420 live fleas

Sammy was riddled with fleas

A woman has been disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years after she left her terrier untreated and ‘crawling with fleas’.

Jacqueline Blackmore, of Mere Gate, Margate, was sentenced on Thursday (January 14) at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court to a three-year conditional discharge. She was ordered to pay £400 in costs and disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years.

She had previously pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to her Jack Russell terrier, Sammy, under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA inspector Kirsten Ormerod, who led the investigation, said: “On 17 October my colleague was taken in to see Sammy who was being kept outside. He was in a poor condition, was covered in urine stains, had overgrown nails and was clearly suffering from an untreated flea infestation. She issued a warning notice to get Sammy seen by a vet.

“When she followed up the following week she established that Sammy had not been to see a vet and that Ms Blackmore’s other dog Poppy had, sadly, been put to sleep due to having tumours.

“The RSPCA visited again at the beginning of November and found Sammy shut in a small crate in the living room. He had no water or bedding. Officers decided to take Sammy to a vet and Ms Blackmore reluctantly agreed.

“Poor Sammy was absolutely crawling with fleas. They were all over his back and he was almost completely bald across his rear end and had chewed his legs red raw. He was visibly uncomfortable and kept scratching and shaking. His skin was red and inflamed and smelt of urine.”

Vets found 420 live fleas crawling through his fur. He was treated by staff and remained in RSPCA care while officers investigated.

Following the sentencing Inspector Ormerod said: “We understand that people’s circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to care for their pets but as owners it is our responsibility to ensure that they are free from pain and discomfort and, in this case, she had clearly failed poor Sammy.”

Sammy now

After just a month of treatment, Sammy returned to the vets and his skin was much improved. He then moved to an RSPCA centre and was rehomed.

“Sammy is getting on really brilliantly in his new home and is loving life,” Inspector Ormerod added. “It’s wonderful to see the transformation he’s made and know he’s now got his happy ending!”


  1. Monster at last a bit of justice so many pets and animals mad to suffer at the hands of there owners it’s a pity there so called owners can’t be left to suffer to

  2. Sammy is now living with a lovely couple who spoil him. He is a lovely little soul and at last he is loved and cared for properly.

  3. pet owners that allow this to happen should be treated the same as they have treated their pets there is no need for this to happen in this day and age
    help is available.

  4. Sadly this person can still own another pet in a decade & realistically there is very little incentive for her not to have another one any time she likes as the law don’t take animal cruelty seriously-it isn’t like there is any real punishment or people checking up-especially in the current environment, it is more reactive when a neighbour or passerby puts in a complaint. As we see here the RSPCA have to jump through hoops just to get the animals away from people, we see the same thing on that rescue show from Texas, as the law protects the animal abusers rights, not the animals rights.

    Is there anything malicious in this woman? Probably not, like many she probably simply cannot cope due to mental capacity/mental health issues & a refusal to accept they need help, or are harming the animals in any way. But whether they are well meaning but incompetent carers, or yobbos who breed dogs for fighting or enjoy kicking their pets around it makes no difference to the animal suffering.

  5. Poor little thing left outdoors all the time. The neighbours probably reported it as could hear constant barking but it’s a good job they did so the RSPCA could come and check Sammy over and see he is not being looked after.
    The owner given two chances to get him treatment but failed. If you cannot look after your animal for whatever reason then call up one of the multitude of animal charities to come and help you or get them a new home. Don’t just forget about it and leave in the back yard like a belonging. Dogs are very loyal pets to their owners so it is sad when they are let down and failed by the very person they trust.
    Pleased Sammy has a new owner and home where he can put all his trust to keep him safe and well. A good ending for a change.

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