Category Archives: Multiple Species

Longformacus, Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record

Greenock, Inverclyde: Patrick Carter

#TheList Patrick Carter, born c. 2000, of Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos

Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.

The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.

Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.

One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.

In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.

Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.

“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”

Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.

During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.

Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.

The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.

The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.

“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.

“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.

“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”

The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”

Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.

Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Sentencing will follow at Greenock Sheriff Court on September 11, 2019.

Greenock Telegraph
Daily Record

St Clears, Carmarthen: Steffan Harris and Barbara Howell

#TheList Steffan Lee Harris, born 17/12/93, and Barbara Ray Howell, born 21/08/93, of Gorwyn, Tenby Road, St Clears, Carmarthen SA33 4JN – kept dozens of dogs in shocking conditions at illegal puppy farm

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales

Steffan Lee Harris and partner Barbara Ray Howell pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences, running a dog breeding business without a licence, and consumer offences relating to the advertising of dogs online.

Animal inspectors found starving and sick dogs being held in sheds and barns at premises operated by the couple who sold puppies online while pretending to be private sellers.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told the court how the couple advertised on a website called, ironically, he said, preloved.co.uk.

One buyer paid £225 for a puppy from a caravan the pair rented at Waun Dwni farm, Tanygroes. The animal became ill before the buyer got back home to Cardiff and they ended up paying £700 in vet’s bills.

Mr Hobson said the puppy had not been microchipped, vaccinated or treated for fleas as the couple had claimed in their advertisement.

A major investigation followed, first by Ceredigion County Council and then by the RSPCA.

Inspectors found 82 dogs being kept in poor conditions – 49 breeding females, 12 males and 21 puppies ready for sale.

Many of the dogs were kept in small enclosures with little light or access to fresh air with poor or muddy bedding and sharp corners and low-hanging electrical cables across the pens.

A lurcher could hardly move, a terrier was tied to a breeze block and a collie had a body score of one out of nine and was close to death.

Another dog was kept in a sealed container and it appeared impossible for anyone to get in to feed or water her, said Mr Hobson.

Inspectors also found pigs squealing through lack of food and water, and chickens that appeared not to have been fed or given access to water. One chicken collapsed in front of them.

The court heard Harris, who was present during the inspection, was “less than cooperative” during the process.

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales
Barbara Howell and Steffan Harris

Harris and Howell both admitted cruelty offences in relation to the pigs and Harris to the chickens.

Mr Hobson said further investigation showed that Harris had a flock of 110 sheep on nearby land, which he rented.

The owner became concerned because he did not seem to be there to look after them and inspectors found sheep carcasses that should have been disposed of properly.

After Harris was made aware of their concerns the sheep disappeared, apart from 19 which he seemed to have simply abandoned.

Mr Hobson said an initial financial investigation suggested the couple had banked £150,000 between 2013 and 2018 through the sale of puppies.

A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation is underway to determine how much money could been confiscated from them. That matter will be settled at a court hearing on 15 November, 2019.

After his arrest Harris said he wanted to get the puppy farm up and running before applying for a licence.

Howell said she only looked after the paperwork.

For Harris and Howell James Hartson said he accepted that anyone seeing the photographs of the dogs could not fail to be mortified.

“They had ambitions for a business but lost control. It is likely the financial consequences will be punitive,” he added.

Mr Hartson urged the judge not to impose banning orders preventing the defendants from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs as that would effectively stop Harris from carrying out his work as a herdsman.

Judge Peter Heywood said animals were defenceless and Harris and Howell had housed them in totally inappropriate surroundings.

“This was a significant commercial enterprise and Harris was the driving force,” he added.

“You were in it to make money and had no regard for the welfare of the animals.”

The judge said Harris, who cannot read or write, had been the “driving force” behind the enterprise while Howell had assisted him.

He said he would be failing in his public duty if he suspended Harris’ sentence, but took into account that Howell had a young child when sentencing her.

Sentencing: Harris was jailed for six months (half to be served on licence) while Howell was given a four-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. Both were made the subject of banning orders preventing them from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs, chickens, and sheep for the next five years.

WalesOnline
Cambrian News

Hartlepool, County Durham: Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Daniel Joyce and Connor Pounder

#TheList badger baiters Clint Dodd, born 09/04/1996, and Michael Dodd, born 1991, both of 43 Thornhill Gardens, Hartlepool TS26 0JF, Connor Pounder, born c. 1996, of 31 Speeding Drive, Hartlepool TS24 9QE and Daniel Joyce, born c. 1990, of 70 Granville Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 8NA

Badger baiters from Hartlepool, County Durham: Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder
Badger baiters from Hartlepool, Co Durham

Brothers Clint and Michael Dodd and accomplices Daniel Joyce and Connor Pounder, all of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to offences under the Badger Act 1992 and Animal Welfare Act 2006 after they were found interfering with a known badger sett in the village of Hovingham, North Yorkshire.

Jagd terrier Brock suffered horrific facial injuries after being forced into a badger sett by his cruel owners
Jagd terrier Brock suffered horrific facial injuries after being forced into a badger sett by his cruel owners

The gang admitted digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett and causing unnecessary suffering to a Jagd Terrier named Brock who they were using to send down the badger sett.

A fifth defendant, Shaun Brown, 28, of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, failed to attend court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Badger baiting brothers Clint and Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Badger baiting brothers Clint and Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham

A member of the public spotted a group of men close to a known badger sett in Hovingham on 11 January 2019 and immediately reported it to North Yorkshire Police. When officers arrived, they found four of the men digging the sett and scanning the ground with a tracker locator device trying to trace a dog which was currently in the sett.

The terrier dog, Brock, was underweight and found with serious injuries to his face and muzzle as well as painful ulcerations to his eyes and an untreated eye infection. He was treated by local vets and will now be rehomed.

The Jagd Terrier is a German breed, renowned for their hunting abilities so will often be used to engage in illegal activities such as badger baiting. The name ‘Brock’ is also a colloquialism for badger.

Badger baiter Connor Pounder from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Connor Pounder

North Yorkshire Police’s Inspector Kevin Kelly is Head of the national Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group (BPPDG). He said: “I took on this role because I’m serious about badger crime and I hope this sentencing result sends a clear message that badger persecution will not be tolerated. You interfere with badger sets, you receive a custodial sentence – it’s as simple as that.

“Wildlife crime can often be contested and hard fought in the court room so it’s positive to see the defendants in this case plead guilty on first appearance. It demonstrates the importance of the partnership working that we have championed in the BPPDG – using the skills and knowledge of key partners, former wildlife crime officers and expert witnesses to present a strong case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“This case has been led by one of North Yorkshire Police’s new Wildlife Crime Officers, PC Rory Sadler and it’s great to see such a positive result. I’d also like to praise the actions of the member of the public who reported the sett disturbance. It’s really important that people are vigilant to wildlife crime and we start working on our legacy now to develop the next generation.”

Badger baiter Michael Dodd from Hartlepool, Co Durham
Michael Dodd

RSPCA Inspector and National Wildlife Officer Coordinator, Geoff Edmond, said: “The RSPCA works very closely with North Yorkshire Police to achieve best practice when investigating rural and wildlife crime. Significant results are now being seen in the courts.

Brock has recovered from his ordeal and will be rehomed

“This case highlights the skills and expertise being achieved which sends a strong message that crimes like this involving cruelty to badgers and injuries to the dogs involved will be investigated and dealt with seriously at court. Badger related crime is horrific, unnecessary and will not be tolerated.”

Sentencing: Clint Dodd, Joyce and Pounder were each given a 10-week suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs. . They were ordered not to enter North Yorkshire for 12 months. Michael Dodd was already in receipt of a suspended sentence for driving whilst disqualified and was consequently jailed for 14 weeks. All four were disqualified from keeping dogs for five years.

North Yorkshire Police

Update 17 August 2019: the fifth member of the gang Shaun Brown was given a suspended sentence.

Badger baiter Shaun Brown from Hartlepool

He was not banned from keeping animals as his dog was seemingly injured with the judge taking from this he had not been used for badger baiting.

Taunton, Somerset: Jennifer Waddup

#TheList hoarder Jennifer Ann Waddup, born 15/08/1969, of 11 Buckland Road, Somerset TA2 8EW for the neglect of multiple dogs and cats.

Waddup pleaded guilty to four charges brought against her by the RSPCA.

Pet hoarder and abuser Jennifer Waddup of Taunton, Somerset, UK
Pet hoarder and abuser Jennifer Waddup of Taunton, Somerset, UK

She admitted:

  • *failing to explore and address the cause of the poor bodily condition of nine domestic cats between March 20 and April 3 this year;
  • *causing unnecessary suffering to a border collie named Domino by failing to provide professional veterinary care for a chronic skin condition between the same dates;
  • *failing to ensure the needs of 14 domestic cats and Domino the dog were met by not ensuring their need for a suitable environment in which to live on or before April 3;
  • *and not taking reasonable steps to ensure the needs of 14 cats were met by not protecting them from pain, injury, suffering and disease as seen by a chronic and significant flea infestation on or before April 3.

Sentencing: 100 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping cats and dogs but can appeal after two years.

Somerset County Gazette

Dulverton, Somerset: Daniel Brockley

#TheList wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel John William Brockley, born 24/03/1989, of 6 Bury, Dulverton, West Somerset TA22 9NE – allowed his terrier to work underground knowing there was a risk of him becoming injured

Wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel Brockley of Dulverton, West Somerset

Brockley, who is employed as a gamekeeper by shoot management firm Loyton LLP based at the Haddeo Estate in the Exe valley, was found guilty after a two day trial.

He was also charged with an offence of intent to kill, injure or take a badger but was found not guilty as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’

Wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel Brockley of Dulverton, West Somerset

In August 2018 the RSPCA, police and DEFRA carried out a raid at Brockley’s home and seized mobile phones. Text messages between Brockley and head keeper Alan Floyd referred to digging for vixens, fox cubs and badgers.

Images on Brockley’s phone showed a dog named Henry who had suffered horrific facial injuries. Vets said the nature of Henry’s wounds were consistent with badger fighting.

The court heard that on three separate occasions – January 18, 2017, 19 May, 2017 and January 30 2019 – Brockley had put a Patterdale terrier named Rock at risk of injury by forcing him to work underground.

According to the RSPCA, photos showing Rock’s de-gloved lower jaw – where skin has been removed as a result of an injury – and text messages about his condition were shared by Brockley.

A text message from January 2017 said “Dug Rock again tonite!” and was accompanied by a photo on Brockley’s phone of a locator receiver showing a depth of 0.8m.

In May 2017 Brockley texted a picture of Rock with full degloving injury of his lower jaw and wrote: “This is the last time I dug him last May…I’ve not worked him since coz had to revive him after that one”.

A witness told the court that Rock had died after being shot and disposed of by Brockley “to try and cover his back”.

There was evidence that other dogs had died in similar circumstances while in the care of Daniel Brockley.

Magistrates decided against banning Brockley from keeping animals as he has had many dogs in the past, Rock was described as being otherwise kept well and was well loved, and a ban would lead to Brockley losing his livelihood and accommodation.

Sentencing: 140 hours of unpaid work; total of £2,335 costs and charges.

Somerset County Gazette
Somerset Badger Group
SomersetLive

Preston, Lancashire: Bradley Tomes

#TheList unlicensed animal trader Bradley Michael Tomes, born 27/04/1995, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston PR4 – kept dozens of exotic animals in filthy conditions and with untreated injuries

Some of the animals rescued from Bradley Tomes of Preston, Lancashire

Tomes pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act after dozens of neglected exotic animals had to be rescued by the RSPCA.

The offences relate to six iguanas; two mara (large rodents from South America); 16 peafowl; two pelicans; three agouti (a rodent native to America and South America); five porcupines; one green parakeet; two jardine parrots; one golden pheasant; one green winged macaw; one white necked raven and one cape parrot.

In January 2019 the RSPCA were called by police to a farm on Taylors Meanygate in Tarleton and found the animals being kept in squalid and unsuitable conditions. The charity then attended a second address on Moss Lane, Tarleton where a shed-type building at the back of the premises contained a number of animals.

RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “Some of these animals were species we as RSPCA inspectors of many years’ experience had never dealt with before, and it was a shock to see them kept in such conditions.

“Both locations were filthy. Many of the animals were in accommodation that was obviously completely unsuitable, did not have access to food or water, or were suffering.

“At the farm, we found two mara inside a small plastic transportation crate on the floor of one of the make-shift buildings. Mara are a large rodent who stand up on their hind legs. The height of the crate was 300mm, or just 12 inches. The depth of the crate was 560mm, and the length was 870mm giving no real room for them to move around.

“A squalid enclosure at the same location housed three agoutis, two pelican and 13 peafowl (pictured above).

“Four porcupines (pictured right) were in a pen which was wet and muddy with just a small structure for shelter – temperatures on site were close to freezing with snow and driving rain.

“At the second address a macaw was found in a black crate, similar to a dog crate. The bird’s tail feathers were touching the sides of the crate.

“The iguanas were at this location too – all six of which were in poor body condition and four had injuries to their tails.”

Two animals, an Agouti and a Mara, have subsequently died, and the court heard further dead birds and animals were discovered at the same locations but are not subject to charges, as the cause of death cannot be established.

In mitigation the court heard that Tomes had an interest in animals all of his life and had been employed as a zoo keeper.

He had signed all of the animals over in February and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had gone through a difficult break up but had now turned his life around and had a new job and new relationship.

The surviving animals have been rehomed to specialist keepers.

Sentencing: 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation days; 120 hours of community service; total of £615 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years with no appeal for two years.

Lancashire Post
RSPCA News

Wallasey, Merseyside: Thomas Bennett

#TheList Thomas Anthony Bennett, born 08/01/1987 of 54 Rice Lane, Wallasey, Wirral CH44 0DQ – abandoned a dog, a snake and a bearded dragon without food or water for several days

Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.
Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.

Father-of-two Thomas Bennett pleaded guilty to three animal welfare charges after neglecting three pets, including a snake that was found dead at his property.

Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.
Bruno is recovering in the care of the RSPCA

The dog, a nine-year-old Rottweiler called Bruno, was found barricaded in a squalid kitchen which was full of faeces.

Neighbours allegedly heard a dog ‘barking for days’ on the street – with one resident fearing the house was empty for ‘at least a week’.

Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.
Conditions inside the property where Tom Bennett left three animals without food or water

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes, who investigated, said none of the animals had food or water.

He said the python was found in a vivarium and had been dead for some time. The bearded dragon was in such a bad state of health that police officers initially thought he was also dead.

Anthony said: “Bruno was locked in a filthy kitchen which had been barricaded shut with furniture. He had no food or water and was surrounded by faeces.

“There were some empty dog food cans in the kitchen and because he was so hungry he had started chewing them.

“He was clearly underweight but since he has been the care of the RSPCA he has done really well and it is hoped he will be rehomed soon.”

Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.
Animal abuser Thomas Anthony Bennett from Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside

Anthony said: “From the state of decomposition it was clear the snake had been dead sometime.

“The bearded dragon looked close to death but was given specialist medical care – including having a feeding tube inserted into his stomach – and made a full recovery.

“Sadly, recently he developed a tumour in his mouth and a vet decided the kindest thing to do would be to put him to sleep but I am grateful he enjoyed a few months of life being properly cared for.”

“Bennett didn’t even have the right equipment for keeping a bearded dragon – there was no UV light for him and without this they develop bone problems and will be unable to live a healthy life.

“Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet.

“People may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home.

“This is why the RSPCA would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them.”

Tom Bennett left three pets, including Rottweiler Bruno, without food and water in his filthy home.

Bennett admitted he had not fed the bearded dragon and snake for at least six weeks and said this was because he was struggling financially.

Sentencing: 12-month jail term suspended for 12 months; 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; total of £515 costs and charges. Five year ban on keeping animals.

Liverpool Echo
Wirral Globe

Ballysillan, Belfast: Harry Todd

#TheList Harry Todd, born 10/04/1957, of 49 Joanmount Park, Belfast BT14 6PF – for abandonment of 150 pigeons; dog also found dead at his property

Todd was convicted of four animal welfare offences after causing a dog unnecessary suffering and abandoning more than 150 pigeons at an address on the Ballysillan Road.

The prosecution case was brought by Belfast City Council after a report from a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of the birds. The person also informed staff of a dog carcass which was in an upstairs room of the property.

Animal welfare officers visited the address on 02 November 2017 and found the partially skeletonised remains of a dog, a number of dead pigeons and 153 pigeons deemed to be suffering.

Sentencing: five month suspended sentence for each offence. Costs of £79. Banned from keeping animals for 15 years.

Belfast City Council news
Belfast Telegraph

Grosmont, North Yorkshire: Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly

#TheList Mandy Allinson, born c. 1967, and Michael Connolly, born c. 1963, both of Fotherley Farm, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5QJ – kept dogs and cats in “squalid and horrific” conditions

Puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Animals in the care of Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly lived in their own excrement in a filthy barn at their farm near Whitby.

The pair admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.

Police and RSPCA inspectors were alerted to the farm after a number of people bought puppies which fell ill or were found to be riddled with worms or fleas.

And they discovered dozens of animals being kept in appalling conditions at what was found to be an unregistered, unlicensed business.

A dog in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like “a big ball of fur”.

He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.

Dogs in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard that the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and depression.

Speaking after the hearing RSPCA Inspector Claire Little, who led the investigation, said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public who had bought puppies from the premises and, once home, they’d fallen ill or their new families had discovered they were riddled with fleas and worms.

“This couple were running an unregistered, unlicensed business breeding dogs and they were not properly protecting the dogs’ welfare and health.”

When officers raided the property they found 40 dogs and puppies, three cats and a guinea pig at the address. All of the animals were removed.

“The puppies were all being kept inside the house while the adult dogs were kept out in a barn,” Inspector Little added.

“It was cold, dark, dank and filthy in the barn. Some dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages stacked on top of each other, while other dogs were in disgusting kennels covered in dirt and faeces. It absolutely stank inside the barn, it was hell.

“The dogs were yellow with urine stains and covered in fleas. Many were riddled with worms and suffering from nasty diseases like giardia, campylobacter and coccidia.”

French bulldogs, collies, cocker spaniels, poodles and fashionable crossbreeds, such as cockerpoos, were taken into RSPCA care.

“This couple were clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of designer dogs such as cockerpoos but they were failing to meet these dogs’ basic needs and many were seriously poorly,” Inspector Little said.

“It was overcrowded, the disease control was poor and many of the dogs had matted coats and untreated open wounds. The floor was caked in faeces and water bowls were empty and upturned.

“Some had nasty skin infections and had made themselves bleed from constant scratching. One of the dogs had almost 2kg of matted fur removed.”

Grim conditions at the puppy farm run by  Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

A guinea pig was found in a cage in one barn and three cats were found running loose in another barn on the site.

Sentencing: 10-week prison term, suspended for a year. Banned from keeping cats for seven years.

Gazette Live
BBC News