Cruelty case after animal rescue raid

EIGHT people will appear in court accused of a string of animal welfare charges after a raid on Crunchy’s Animal Rescue in Longworth.

Those facing prosecution by the RSPCA include six members of the Russell family living at Weybread Cottage, in Faringdon Road, where the charity is based.

Angela Russell, 43, Frederick Russell, 80, Peter Russell, 39, Robert Russell, 24, Kirsty Russell, 19, and Louise Russell, 21, all face 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs, four horses, a duck and a turkey, as well as five charges of failing to meet the welfare needs of 16 dogs, five horses, 13 rabbits, four puppies and two goats.

Also ordered to appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on June 29 accused of the same offences are 19-year-old Abigail McHugh, of Pendennis Road, Freshbrook, Swindon, and 23-year-old Daniel Bunyan, of The Court, Abingdon.

RSPCA officers and police spent five days removing 78 animals from the site in January.

The animals will not be returned there, Oxford Magistrates’ Court has ruled. The RSPCA last Friday secured a court order giving it permission to rehome or destroy the animals.

Frederick Russell is also facing court proceedings brought by his landlord.

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The Sovereign housing association wants him to sign a new tenancy agreement, reducing the amount of land around his house and placing restrictions on the keeping of animals. A date for a court hearing over the tenancy has yet to be set.

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