A WOMAN has appeared in court for failing to ensure the welfare of two African pygmy hedgehogs.

Tani-Ruby Mabey, 23, was charged with two counts of failing to take steps to ensure the animals’ welfare.

Mabey, of Peaton’s Lane, Lytchett Matravers, was alleged to have kept the hedgehogs in unsuitable conditions and without adequate food or water.

Poole Magistrates’ Court was told the animals need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns were not met and they would not be protected from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

The defendant admitted both charges, which were brought under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and dated back to October 15, last year.

Mabey was discharged conditionally for 12 months and ordered to pay £1,569 compensation, £22 surcharge and £85 costs.

The bench also made an order for the defendant to be deprived of the ownership of the hedgehogs and for the disposal of the animals.