Tag Archives: animal exploitation for financial gain

Annan, Dumfries-Shire and Bishopbriggs, Glasgow: Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell

#TheList puppy farm dealer Marco Tondo, born 18/10/1987, currently of 18 Shawfield Court, Annan, Dumfries-shire DG12 6JB but with links to the Shettleston area of Glasgow, and partner Nadine Campbell, born 07/12/1988, of 39 Colston Avenue, Bishopbriggs G64 1SL – sold sick puppies and ran an illegal ‘pet shop’

Scottish puppy farm dealers Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell
Puppy farm dealers Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell pictured outside Glasgow Sheriff Court

Wannabe gangster and alleged drug dealer Marco Tondo kept several dogs in cramped conditions at partner Campbell’s address in Bishopbriggs in October 2018.

The Scottish SPCA said the puppies were suffering from a number of serious health problems, including worm and flea infestations, parvovirus and coccidiosis – a parasitic infestation.

Investigating officers determined they had come from “suspected puppy dealers”.

Five puppies were sold at the “pet shop” where eight other young dogs were kept.

Two dogs had to be put down, one of which had suffered organ damage. Other dogs there were also poorly and underweight.

Scottish puppy farm dealer Marco Tondo

Tondo, who shares a baby daughter with co-accused Nadine Campbell, was set to face trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court but pleaded guilty to a charge of causing “unnecessary suffering” to the puppies.

Tondo and Campbell both admitted to operating a pet shop without proper authority involving the selling of five puppies and having eight other young dogs.

Scottish puppy farm dealer Nadine Campbell

The court heard Tondo put Jack Russell and Chihuahua puppies up for sale on Gumtree.

Two buyers came to the property in Bishopbriggs, where Campbell was living.

Tondo told them not to feed the puppy on the journey as it would be “sick due to travel.”

He claimed one dog had been wormed but failed to forward the paperwork to the buyers. It was later discovered that the puppy had not been wormed or microchipped.

The buyers paid £350 and Tondo did acknowledge that the puppy was “unwell” – it later vomited in the buyers’ car and its health deteriorated.

The puppy was taken to the vet for dehydration where its breathing became “laboured” and died.

Tondo could not be contacted and his phone appeared “out of service.”

The court heard of another incident when a vet and her daughter bought a dog from Tondo.

The vet noted that the dogs didn’t show typical puppy behaviour and were underweight – she also noted there was no food, beds or blankets for the animals.

The vet later bought the dog after discussing it with her daughter and was told by Tondo that the puppy had been vaccinated and microchipped.

The dog’s health deteriorated as it became dehydrated and was passing clear watery fluids.

The puppy was taken for veterinary treatment but did not respond to its medication.

A third puppy was then bought on October 21, 2018, at an address in Larbert, Stirlingshire.

Prosecutors said the dog – who also had fleas – then “collapsed, was pale and had a fever”.

Vets found it had signs of “organ damage”. The dog died on October 25, 2018.

A fourth puppy later sold also needed vet treatment.

The charge stated a number of puppies at the address in Bishopbriggs were “confined in a small cage” and others in a garden were “underweight”.

Despite all of this neither Tondo nor Campbell were banned from keeping animals an outcome with the Scottish SPCA greeted with disappointment.

An undercover special investigation unit (SIU) inspector said: “Whilst we welcome and respect the court’s judgment, we would have liked to see Tondo given a ban on owning or keeping animals. His disregard for the welfare of numerous dogs led to several puppies becoming unwell and, in two sorry cases, passing away.

“We became aware of Tondo and Campbell following reports by concerned members of the public who had purchased puppies from them that had subsequently become very ill and, sadly in two instances, passed away.

“Working on intelligence we were able to determine that both of the accused were supplied puppies from an unidentified puppy dealer, but failed to keep any form of register of sales carried out.

“Our investigation led us to the home of Campbell. With a warrant, we discovered evidence to support that they were selling puppies on behalf of a third party without the appropriate licence.

“The pups have come from suspected puppy dealers. These people are driven by profit and often have no regard for animal welfare.”

The inspector added: “The puppies were suffering from a number of serious health problems including worm and flea infestations, parvovirus and coccidiosis, a parasitic infestation. Tondo’s failure to provide veterinary care for these animals would have led to immeasurable suffering.

“Not only did they put the dogs in their care at risk but due to the contagious nature of the diseases the puppies had, they put domestic dogs in Scotland at great risk.

“This has been heart-breaking for the families who bought the puppies from the couple. Not only did it result in large veterinary bills, but also a lot of stress and heartache.

“Tondo has overlooked the most basic welfare standards in order that they can profit at the expense of these animals.

“This case shows that not only are we targeting puppy farmers but we are also taking on those buying puppies from dealers with successful results. This is a reminder that we will not overlook anyone involved in this barbaric trade.”

Sentencing: Marco Tondo was ordered to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work in the community while Nadine Campbell was tagged for three months for selling the pups from her home address without a licence. No ban on keeping animals was imposed on either of them.

Glasgow Evening Times
BBC News

Pinehurst, Swindon, Wiltshire: Clive Elliott

#TheList greyhound breeder/trainer Clive Donald Elliott, born 19/11/1979, of 35 Limes Avenue, Swindon SN2 1QQ – convicted of multiple counts of cruelty towards dogs in his care

Clive Elliott

Clive Elliott binged on drink and drugs while his dogs starved in kennels at the home he now shares with his mother. When police and an RSPCA officer visited the property they found one dog stuffed in a freezer, two others dead on the floor and other animals starved.

The greyhound trainer and breeder, who had inherited a number of dogs from his late father, left the animals unfed for around four days.

 The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

But a vet who examined the stricken animals after they were rescued from their kennel suggested the dogs had been subject to weeks or possibly months of neglect.

RSPCA prosecutor Matthew Knight said officers had found eight dogs. Three were dead, including one that had been put into a bin liner and stuffed into a chest freezer.

“There was no dog food whatsoever in the property,” the solicitor said.

The five other dogs were in a poor condition. Their nails were overgrown, some had abscesses and scurvy.

An abscess on the leg of one dog
An abscess on the leg of one dog

One of the animals had a severe mouth ulcer, which Elliott later admitted knowing about. The dog initially wolfed down food but died a week later after his condition deteriorated.

Autopsies were carried out on the dead dogs. The bone marrow of one was a glutinous liquid – the result of poor nutrition. The vet said it would have taken weeks or possibly months to reach that stage.

As an example of how poorly nourished the greyhounds were, Mr Knight said one dog had increased in weight by a third in just one month after it was taken from the house. He said: “The vet puts this purely down to providing the proper food.”

Interviewed by the authorities, Elliott said matters had deteriorated after the breakdown of a relationship. He had turned to drink and drugs and did not ask for help as he was “too proud”.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court
Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

He told the RSPCA his mother, who has dementia, would have fed them had there been any dog food. He added: “There wasn’t any food for my mum that’s how low I was.”

The dogs Elliott was accused of having neglected were racing as recently as January 2019. Racing cards suggest Gemstone Bobbie, who added a third to his body weight after being rescued, was at the Swindon track twice that month. “C D Elliott” was the trainer

Elliott’s lawyer Terry McCarthy of Jeary & Lewis Solicitors said his client had inherited dogs after the death of his father in 2014.

He had owned his own printing business and was looking after the dogs on the side. He changed jobs, working night shifts and caring for the animals during the day.

He found he was not coping well and, when his relationship broke down, matters spiralled.

“Things went wrong there and Mr Elliott was affected by the breakdown,” Mr McCarthy said.

“It seems some dogs were removed from him by someone his ex-partner met and the problems with the breakdown and the lack of income got in top of him.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

“There is reference to the back problem you have heard about for which he has been prescribed medication.”

Elliott had been abusing prescription medication on top of that. “It’s my feeling that Mr Elliott was suffering at the time from severe depression. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t go and see a doctor and there is no medical evidence to confirm it.

“It’s quite obvious that as a result of that depression he wasn’t coping with anything.

“You’ve read in the report he couldn’t bring himself to look after his mother properly – as well as his dogs.

“Some of the dogs I think you’ve heard about were owned by another person. That person did not provide food for them either.

“Mr Elliott had no money.”

Chairman of the bench Jane Durrant said Elliott had shown no evidence of remorse.

“The pictures we have been shown are extremely distressing and the number of dogs and the level of suffering they endured is really quite appalling,” she said.

“The distress caused to these dogs was just quite unbelievable.”

Elliott did not appear to react as the sentence was read out.

Sentencing: 20 weeks’ imprisonment. Ordered to pay a total of £872 costs and charges. Banned from owning dogs for life.

Swindon Advertiser

Upham, Hampshire: Lucinda and Victoria Rolph

#TheList puppy farmers Lucinda S Rolph, born 14/06/1966 and daughter Victoria J Rolph, born 22/03/1989, both of Woodward Farm, Alma Lane, Upham, near Southampton SO32 1HE

Puppy farmers Lucinda and Victoria Rolph from Upham, Hampshire
Puppy farmers Victoria and Lucinda Rolph pictured outside court

Lucinda Rolph has been ordered to pay £600,000 through a court confiscation order after pleading guilty to running an unlicensed dog breeding farm. Her daughter Victoria Rolph also pleaded guilty to same offence, with a lesser role, and has been ordered to pay almost £15,000.

Licensing officers from the local authority caught wind of the pair’s operation in May 2015 and carried out a warrant at their £600,000 farm in the village of Upham, near Southampton. There they found litters of puppies as well as adult dogs.

Despite being warned that they needed a licence for commercial breeding, the Rolphs continued to advertise dogs and puppies for sale, sometimes under different names, without one.

The pair came to the attention of licensing officers again after a miniature Dachshund they sold died weeks later of canine parvovirus.

Prosecutor Ethu Crorie told the court how the pair would advertise puppies and adult dogs for sale online via Pets4Homes and Preloved. They advertised 38 different breeds, with prices ranging from £500 to £1,500 per animal.

Mr Crorie added there was no record of sales or receipts and the pair did not have any tax records.

The pair had several accounts in their own names and 18 with other people’s names – some of whom they knew and were unaware that their name was being used.

Mr Crorie said that if every dog had sold as advertised and none of the adverts were duplicated, the pair could have been paid as much as £1.5 million pounds.

In sentencing the pair, Judge Henry, inset, said: “Lucinda Rolph was warned of the need for having a licence in 2015.

“She said at that stage she was thinking about giving everything up.

“She was well aware a licence was required.

“She kept no records of this lucrative business and they used fake names to hide the fact they were still selling adult and puppies during this period.”

Sentencing: Lucinda Rolph was ordered to pay £601,700 within a three-month period or face a five-year prison sentence in default. She was also told to pay costs of £20,000 and to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

Victoria Rolph was ordered to pay £14,950 within a three-month period or face six months in prison in default. She was also told to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

Both Rolphs were also given a dog breeding banning order for six years.

Daily Echo

Bedworth, Warwickshire: Simon Davis

#TheList commercial breeder Simon Davis, born c. 1985, of Acacia Crescent, Bedworth CV12 – cropped American bulldog puppies’ ears with razor blades before selling them for thousands of pounds to celebrity clients

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs
Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic operations on American Bulldogs

Davis, who trades under the name Lions Lair Kennels, admitted to cropping the ears of seven puppies. He was arrested on 30 January 2019, after the RSPCA and Warwickshire Police carried out a joint raid at his home address.

During the raid, they found seven kennels, in a converted garage building in his back garden, containing eight American Bulldogs.

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs

The RSPCA gathered a range of evidence, including before and after photographs and medical appliances such as syringes, razor blades and forceps were seized from both properties.

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs

A further nine American Bulldogs were found at Mr Davis’s mother’s house nearby on Chelsey Road, including two pregnant dogs and six with cropped ears.

The RSPCA urge people to never buy a dog with cropped ears, and have taken seven of the dogs into care to be re-homed.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months. Ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and pay £10,973 in costs. A 15-year ban on keeping and dealing in dogs.

ITV News
Daily Mail

Wallacetown, Ayr: Carol Willis

#TheList unscrupulous puppy dealer Carol Louise Willis, born 10/07/1970, currently of Kings Court, Ayr KA8 0AD – kept ‘production line’ puppies in stacked cages at her squalid Barrhill farmhouse; sold diseased and genetically damaged dogs online to unsuspecting buyers

In July 2018, 17 puppies were taken on welfare grounds from unlicensed dealer Carol Willis by the Scottish SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Their visit followed reports by whistleblowers of puppies being bred and kept in atrocious conditions.

It was said that Willis had handed the dogs over voluntarily and to date, no prosecution has followed.

An SIU spokesman said at the time that Willis was ” keeping dogs in poor conditions and we believe their welfare was seriously compromised.”

He added that the Scottish SPCA had received reports of “animals suffering from illnesses and tiny pups being attacked by other dogs because they were made to live on top of each other.”

Willis handed over the dogs voluntarily and, more than 18 months later, has not been prosecuted by the authorities.

Earlier in 2018 Scottish newspaper the Daily Record reported how Willis had sold a one-eyed, seriously ill pug to a mother-of-three from Cairnryan, Wigtownshire, despite the animal urgently needing veterinary treatment.

Willis then tried to persuade Lisa Lochhead to sell on pups for her, making them look like they came from a loving family home – a favourite tactic of puppy farmers to mask the fact that they are churning out pups from a production line.

Lisa fell in love with the poorly pup, Buddy, after seeing an advert online and felt she had to rescue him from hellish living conditions. She was so desperate to save him that she borrowed cash to pay for him.

But Buddy was so over-run with mites that all his fur had fallen off. A vet confirmed he was suffering from demodectic mange as well as giardia, an intestinal problem associated with dirty, cramped conditions. This made his stool bloody and full of worms.

Buddy later lost his second eye after it burst in front of Lisa’s horrified children.

Lisa managed to talk the price down from £550 to £100 after Willis asked her to sell on dogs from her house.

Lisa has since spent hundreds of pounds on vet bills. She has also been contacted by the buyer of Buddy’s sister, who also suffered from dire skin problems.

Lisa said: “I would say that the moment I saw Buddy, I felt I had to save him from this woman. He is such a loveable wee character and the fact he lost an eye hasn’t stopped him have a big personality.

“Carol Willis told me that Buddy lost an eye after being attacked by a French bulldog she was selling, then almost lost the other eye after being scratched by his sister.

“That’s what happens when all these dogs are bred in cramped conditions. She shouldn’t be doing it.”

Lisa had hoped to see the pup with his mother before taking him but Willis repeatedly insisted on meeting at Asda car park in Girvan, Ayrshire, where she turned up with a van full of dogs in cages.

She said: “She didn’t want me anywhere near her home. I couldn’t believe that she was wanting £550 for a dog in that shape but I was determined to rescue him. Willis was really keen for me to take dogs from her and sell them as though I had bred them from my home.

“When she found out I was from Cairnryan, she started asking if I knew anyone who did ferry trips to Ireland, so I presumed she was thinking about bringing in pups that way too.”

A few days after the SIU’s raid, Willis offered to sell a Daily Record reporter a pug pup for £850, claiming she could get the dog microchipped the same day.

Willis denied her dogs were being kept in poor conditions. and told the reporter: “The SSPCA said there were too many dogs, they didn’t say they were being badly looked after.”

Willis has since moved from Lochend Farm in Barrhill, Girvan, to a flat near the Wallacetown area of Ayr

While the Daily Record said that their expose had made it impossible for Willis to continue trading, we have been sent screenshots of two recent Gumtree adverts that are believed to have been placed by Willis:

Sadly, the public have short memories and we have also heard that Willis does not operate alone. She almost certainly has a network of people around her that will allow her to continue to ply her barbaric trade.

Verwood, Eastern Dorset: Jillian Sanford

#TheList breeder Jillian Elisabeth Sanford, born c. 1948, of Oaklands Close, Verwood BH31 6NZ – for extreme neglect of eight dogs

Breeder Jillian Sanford of Verwood, Dorset, UK, kept dogs in appalling conditions in her filthy home

Sanford, who breeds whippets and English setters under the name Erinnis, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an English setter named Star by failing to seek appropriate care for an entrapped claw. She also failed to get veterinary treatment for her seven whippets’ various ailments, which included chronic eye condition and advanced dental disease.

At least one of the dogs was said to be very thin when rescued. The abuse apparently took place over a prolonged period and it took some time for a prosecution case against Sanford to be built.

Breeder Jillian Sanford of Verwood, Dorset, UK, kept dogs in appalling conditions in her filthy home

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £1,180 fines, costs and charges. All dogs handed over to the RSPCA. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.

Bournemouth Echo
Dorset Echo

Dronfield, North-East Derbyshire: Sansha and Peter Lamb

#TheList puppy farmers Sansha Niomi Lamb, born 08/05/1980, of 1 Draycott Place, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RY, and her father Peter Lamb, born 26/10/1949, of 72 Ashford Road, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RT

Sansha Lamb (pictured) and her father Peter Lamb kept 24 starving dogs in filthy conditions on their puppy farm.

Sansha Lamb admitted 12 offences and her father Peter Lamb admitted 11 offences relating to the dogs at Unstone House, on Whittington Lane, at Unstone, near Dronfield S18 4DQ.

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Prosecuting solicitor Deborah Cartwright said the puppy farm was raided by animal health officers from NE Derbyshire District Council on January 9, 2019, with RSPCA officers and a vet after complaints had been received about concerns for the animals and officers had visited the site.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “It’s frankly – in the 30 years I have been involved in criminal law – one of the worst cases I have come across in terms of systematic neglect, selfish behaviour and the abuse of animals for commercial gain.

“It is clear to me that the problems in the period of January 2 to 9 covered by the charges were not isolated to that period of time.

“It’s also clear to me that Miss Lamb and to a lesser extent Peter Lamb should not have had anything to do with the breeding or keeping of animals.”

He added: “The fact that what was revealed on January 9 when the council, a vet and others went into the premises of Unstone House was frankly a horror story.”

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Ms Cartwright, prosecuting for the council, added that officers found kennel floors and walls covered in excrement and a yard was filthy with faecal contamination and dogs were found with faeces matted into their fur. She told the court the final kennel in one block had the worst conditions.

Ms Cartwright said: “The final one represents the worst conditions and consisted of an enclosed room with doors and windows shut with no ventilation and the heating was left on and as officers entered they were hit by an overwhelming smell of ammonia along with dog faeces covering the whole floor.

“The concentration was such it made the vet gag and it made her eyes burn and she was unable to remain in the room at all until the windows and the doors were open for minutes.”

Ms Cartwright added: “One of the officers was observed outside the room retching badly and he was unable to go in. The dogs inside that room would have experienced the same reaction to the ammonia.”
Investigators also found a whelping box in the house, where both defendants lived at the time, with a pug bitch and two puppies and their pen was covered in faeces and there was no food or water, according to Ms Cartwright.

She added that a further deformed dog approached officers in the hall which was covered in faeces and stank of ammonia.

Ms Cartwright said that officers also found a decomposing pug-type bitch in a dog basket covered in newspaper which had been dead for some time.

Officers discovered 25 mistreated dogs including the deceased pug, German Shepherds, a Dalmatian, Bulldogs, pugs, a Cockapoo, a Cocker Spaniels and puppies.

Many were emaciated or lean, according to Ms Cartwright, covered in faeces and urine, riddled with lice, skin lesions, infections and parasites and some were lame and injured and traumatised by their mistreatment.

Ms Cartwright said Sansha Lamb had been the holder of a licence to breed puppies and she had ignored warnings after visits to the site and she was sent a letter stating her licence had expired.

She told investigators she had mental health issues and she was not aware of the suffering or conditions the animals were experiencing.

Peter Lamb admitted responsibility for the care of the animals.

Ms Cartwright said: “Miss Lamb ignored previous advice and warnings regarding the treatment of the animals and she allowed a person with insufficient experience or training to have care of the animals.”

Sansha Lamb and Peter Lamb both pleaded guilty to nine counts of failing to ensure the welfare needs of dogs and to a further two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs between January 2 and January 9, 2019.

Sansha Lamb also pleaded guilty to breeding dogs without a licence between July, 2018, and January, 2019.

Defence solicitor David Gittins mother-of-seven Sansha Lamb is of previous good character and has been a dog breeder for several years without any previous problems but she had suffered from the breakdown of a difficult relationship and she started using cocaine.

He added that while she had recently been pregnant she struggled with her mental health and she had asked others to assist with the dogs.

Defence solicitor Martin Pizzey said retired parks authority worker Peter Lamb had no commercial interest and he became involved as problems emerged and he was trying to help his daughter.

Sentencing:
Sansha Lamb was given 16 weeks of custody suspended for two years with a 16-week curfew. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Peter Lamb was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 12-week curfew and Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Sansha Lamb was also banned from keeping animals for life and Peter Lamb was banned from keeping dogs for five years.

The Star

Thurlton, Norwich: Carole Rushmer

#TheList puppy farmer Carole L Rushmer, born 08/11/1959, of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ

Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer all of Norwich, UK.
Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer.

Carole Rushmer has been banned from buying or selling dogs for two years for her involvement in a family-run puppy farm.

She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs she kept at her farm in Thurlton in Norwich.

Three other family members – Zoe Rushmer, Michael Rushmer and Jacob Murphy – have already been sentenced for their part in a scam, which netted more than £300,000.

The puppies, which have since been rehomed, showed signs of worms and had fur matted with excrement and burns on their skin, magistrates were told.

The court was told Rushmer’s late husband Michael had started a puppy farm to clear debts and later involved his daughter Zoe Rushmer, her partner Jacob Murphy and later his son, also called Michael Rushmer.

She admitted having provided premises for the puppy farm in Thurlton, though her lawyer said she had been coerced into it and was subjected to violence.

RSPCA inspector Amy Pellegrini, who worked on the case for four years, said some puppies were “emaciated”.

The RSPCA removed 74 dogs including several pregnant bitches, one of whom had 93 puppies.

“Being that age, they were very lucky to be alive in those conditions,” she said, speaking outside court.

“That’s not something that we see every day. To see something like that is very upsetting.”

Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer were sentenced in June 2019 for having sold ill or dying dogs they pretended had come from a family environment.

They kept some of the 74 animals in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C (86F), Norwich Crown Court was told.

Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended jail sentence. They were all banned from keeping animals for life.

Sentencing: 14-week curfew; banned from buying or selling dogs for two years.

BBC News

Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne: David Cottrell

#TheList David Cottrell, born 09/10/1966 of 18 Sandringham Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE16 5ZA – caused prolonged suffering to pigs he kept in shocking conditions

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding producer Medomsley Bangers, is banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.
Cottrell is now banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding supplier Medomsley Bangers was convicted of 31 animal welfare charges relating to animals on his site at Manor Road, Medomsley, County Durham, from March to October 2018.

They included charges of being a person responsible for farmed animals and failing to take steps to ensure they had the right conditions, and failing to comply with duty regulations 4, 5 and 7 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Catherine Hazell, prosecuting for the council, said animal health inspectors and a police officer had first visited the site at Manor Road on March 23, 2018.

They found a pen of 11 pigs living in deep slurry with no dry lying area and no water, alongside two pig carcasses.

Another pen containing one pig had no water. Piglets were crammed into a small pen with hardly any space and filthy drinking water.

Officers searched the fields and found horses with access to a large pile of debris and wood with nails and sharp pieces which could likely cause them injury, as well as sheep carcasses.

Cottrell was issued a notice to dispose of the animal by-products, but when officers returned weeks later there was still no dry lying area for 23 pigs, while sharp objects were still in the field with the horses.

During a further visit in October 2018 five underweight pigs were found with no feed available. Six adolescent pigs were crammed in a small pen and standing knee-deep in slurry with filthy water.

The council seized 44 pigs as well as piglets in November 2018. Some of the pigs have since had piglets. There were eventually about 150 pigs in total.

Cottrell only provided his consent to the council selling the pigs in June.

The upkeep of the pigs amounted to £27,765 offset by the sale of some

A probation report noted that Cottrell had decided to set up his own business sheep and pig farming more than three years after suffering serious injuries in a horse accident.

Cottrell told a probation officer that at the time of the incidents he was caring for his terminally ill mother and elderly father and it had got “too much for him”.

He added, a contractor providing him feed had also let him down.

Cottrell, who is selling the land, is now working as a private contractor providing security and as a takeaway driver.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work with 15 probation activity days. He was ordered to pay £24,919, including costs of looking after the pigs and legal costs. Disqualified from owning or keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Northern Echo

Hamilton, South Lanarkshire: Wilfried Vangenechten

#TheList breeder and kennel owner Wilfried Frederik Anna Vangenechten, born September 1959, of Avon Bridge Lodge, Old Avon Road, Ferniegair, Hamilton ML3 7UH – neglected dogs so badly they had to be put down

Breeder Wilfried Vangenechten neglected dogs in his care
Breeder Wilfried Vangenechten neglected dogs in his care

Wilfried Vangenechten’s kennels business was raided by the Scottish SPCA responding to a tip-off about distressed animals being kept there. Officers discovered a total of 17 dogs including Cairn terriers, West Highland terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Miniature Schnauzers and Shih Tzus being kept in horrific conditions.

Dogs rescued from Will Vangenechten's kennels in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Dogs rescued from Will Vangenechten’s disgusting boarding/breeding kennels in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.

Some of the dogs were underweight with matted fur and suffering skin complaints. Sadly four of the dogs were so poorly they had to be put to sleep.

Belgian national Vangenechten admitted causing the dogs unnecessary suffering between February and March 2019.

It also emerged that he was operating the business without an appropriate licence.

The sheriff banned him for five years and acknowledged that her decision would shut his business down but allowed him to keep a pet dog and a flock of chickens.

She added: “As I had indicated previously, I have considered all of the matters and information before the court and I have no option but to impose a disqualification order for a period of five years.

“The order will prohibit you keeping any animals apart from your pet dog and the six poultry birds, but you cannot deal, work with or take possession of animals over that period.

“I have given careful consideration to whether any other disposal would be appropriate but after considering all before me I’m not going to impose anything further.

“I acknowledge that the sentence of the court today will shut down your business and livelihood”.

Sentencing: banned from keeping animals for five years.

Daily Record