Ashford, Kent: Melanie King

#TheList breeder Melanie Jean King, born 10/08/1954, of Station Farm, Station Road, Appledore, Ashford TN26 2DG – kept dozens of dogs in cramped and squalid conditions

Neglected puppy on Melanie King's farm

Melanie King, formerly of Whents Farm in Teynham, near Sittingbourne, was given a suspended prison sentence, ordered to undertake unpaid work and to pay over £1000 in costs to Swale Council after breaching the conditions of her dog-breeding licence.

She was sentenced at Sittingbourne Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to 24 offences under Section 1 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

The court was shown a number of images of 40 dogs on her farm kept in cramped and squalid conditions.

Vets inspecting the premises in December 2008 had raised serious concerns about breeding conditions at the establishment.

It was agreed a new licence would be granted to King for a temporary period. This was to allow her time to deal with hygiene issues raised.

But on three further inspections by council officers and the RSPCA between February and March 2009, numerous breaches of the breeding licence were discovered which led to the prosecution.

Neglected puppy on Melanie King's farm

In sentencing, magistrates told King that had she failed to plead guilty at an early stage, they would have imposed a custodial sentence.

Speaking after sentencing, Swale council’s environmental response manager, Alister Andrews, said: “This conviction is a significant victory not only for us, but also for the animals which were kept at this establishment.”

Sentencing: 140-day suspended prison sentence; 150 hours’ unpaid work; £1,100 costs. Banned for life from breeding dogs, although this was reduced on appeal to just seven years in 2011 (expired).