A WOMAN from Weymouth whose eight pets suffered 'extreme neglect' has been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Weymouth Magistrates Court heard Deanna Pritchard considers herself an 'animal lover' but admitted failing to care for a cat, four hens, a royal python, a corn snake and a female hamster.

The court heard Pritchard tried to blame one of her children for the condition the hamster was found in when RSPCA officers visited her home, in Meadow Close.

The cat was pregnant and had been left in 'severe agony' after injuring its tail, while the royal python, cornsnake and hamster all had to be put down due to their condition.

Dorset Echo: Deanna Pritchard leaving Weymouth Magistrates CourtDeanna Pritchard leaving Weymouth Magistrates Court

Three chickens were found with mites while a fourth was found dead due to mite infestation.

Pritchard, 40, previously pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals between August 1 and August 27 last year.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Matthew Knight, said: "A cat was found with an amputated tail. She [Pritchard] said she had taken it to a vet, which was not the case. As a result the cat was seized.

"Three hens were found suffering with mites, while one was found dead. She said the dead hen was fine the night before, but due to the decomposition it was difficult to determine how and when it died.

"The snakes were left without UV lighting, which were unplugged. It would have taken months of neglect for the snakes to get to the state they were found in.

"The hamster cage was full of urine and the animal appeared ill. The defendant blamed her daughter for the condition it was found in.

"There's been extreme neglect. It was her responsibility, but she's clearly not able to look after animals."

Mitigating, Niall Theobold said: "She considers herself an animal lover. She's remorseful and she will make sure it doesn't happen again.

"She was seven months pregnant at the time and wasn't coping with the unprecedented pandemic. She's in receipt of universal credit."

Pritchard was banned from keeping any animal for five years.

She was given a 12-month community order and must complete 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

She will also have to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £95 and court costs of £100.

The court heard how Pritchard currently owns a dog and a cat, which will be seized and taken into the care of the RSPCA.