THIS helpless lizard was found with a stack of broken bones and weighing less than half its body weight.
The poor leopard gecko was found barely alive when RSPCA officers raided its owner’s home in Warrior Square, St Leonards, back in October.
And last week that owner, 39-year-old Donna Beadle, was slammed by magistrates and banned from owning animals for 10 years after admitting three charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the lizard’s needs.
Hastings Magistrates Court head Beadle had left her pet unfed and without proper heating or lighting.
In fact, when it was discovered by officers last year after a tip off from social services, the gecko had to be rushed to a local vet, suffering from broken bones, a lack of ultraviolet light and alarming bone structure abnormalities.
The shocked magistrates said it was the worst case of neglect they had ever seen and, as well as the 10 year ban on keeping animals, heartless Beadle was given an 18 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 costs.
RSPCA inspector David Grant was pleased with the outcome but urged anyone thinking of buying a lizard or amphibian to make sure they could cope with their very unique needs.
He said: “Lizards need specialist care and if you are going to own a pet like this you must care for it properly.
“We are glad the seriousness of this offence has been reflected in the sentence.”
Beadle’s ban comes just days after the same court forbade Sarah Taylor, of Parkwood Road, from keeping any pets for seven years after the 37-year-old was caught keeping 15 cats in squalid conditions.