Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire: Michelle Lewis and Michael Rowland Sampson

#TheList Michelle Lewis, born c. 1968, and Michael Rowland Sampson, born c. 1981,  of Coronation Avenue, Haverfordwest SA61 – kept seven neglected cats and dogs in their filthy, rubbish-strewn home

Michelle Lewis and Michael Rowland Sampson pleaded guilty to jointly causing unnecessary suffering to their animals by failing to provide a suitable living environment.

The pair also admitted two charges of not ensuring that the needs of the cats and dogs were met, by failing to address flea infestations and chronic skin conditions were treated adequately.

A local vet called in to assist in the operation said the whole house resembled a ‘death trap’, with a mat of ‘rotting excrement’ almost covering the floor, giving him the impression that the house was totally unsuitable for animal habitation, let alone humans.

An RSPCA inspector told the court how he retched on encountering the overpowering stench of faeces and urine on 6 July 2017.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said Lewis had suffered from depression and that she and Sampson – both unemployed – had suffered various problems at the house, including burst pipes and an overflowing toilet.

He added that, while the property was in ‘a terrible state’, the animals themselves were fed and exercised, while the couple tried to treat the dogs’ skin conditions and hair loss through a change in diet and shampoo.

“This was not a deliberate action of cruelty,” he said.

Sentencing:
12-month conditional discharge with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. £315 each in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires January 2023).

County Echo

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