Tag Archives: animal exploitation for financial gain

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

Cannock, Staffordshire: Kevin Bramwell

#TheList illegal dog breeder and trader Kevin Bramwell, born 21/02/1957, of John Street, Cannock WS12 2RL

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.
27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell’s business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

Kevin Bramwell, who gave his address in court as Leathermill Road, Rugeley but actually lives in John Street, Cannock, with his partner, admitted 11 charges – eight of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one running a breeding establishment without licence, one of having an unlicensed pet shop and one of fraud by false representation

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

Officers from Cannock Chase Council found 27 dogs and two raccoons inside vehicles and sheds at the premises of KV Plant & Machinery on Power Station Road, Rugeley, Staffordshire, which is operated by Bramwell.

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

They say the animals were overcrowded, surrounded by faeces and flies, and showing signs of disease.

A local vet was engaged to assess them, and they were taken into the Council’s possession.

The authority cared for the animals, some of which required treatment, whilst the Dogs Trust volunteered to find permanent homes for them.

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

The subsequent investigation showed that Bramwell was breeding dogs and selling them through several websites.

Adverts were traced back to 2014 and totalled almost £50,000.

By not having the required licences Bramwell was able to operate under the radar.

The Council say Bramwell preyed on unsuspecting members of the public who were unwittingly buying from this illegal puppy farm, in the mistaken belief that he was a legitimate vendor.

Puppy farmer Kevin Bramwell of Cannock in Staffordshire
Puppy farmer Bramwell lives with his partner in Cannock

Councillor John Preece, Environment Portfolio Leader said “To anyone looking to have a puppy, please consider rehoming a rescue dog from one of the recognised charities that specialise in caring for stray or abandoned dogs.

“If you do decide to buy privately or from a breeder, please make reasonable enquiries about the vendor, ensure you see the mother and puppies together at the place where they were born and raised.

“Check for proof of vaccinations, microchipping and worming.

“If it’s a breeder, check they have the appropriate licence from the Council for breeding dogs or selling pets.

”The best outcome from this case is that the 29 animals were successfully rehomed.

“I must thank the Dogs Trust for their support in achieving this.

“To anyone considering operating an illegal puppy farm within the District, this case shows you will be found and you will be prosecuted as demonstrated today.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence for animal welfare and licensing offences and a further 52 weeks for fraud. A minimum 35 weeks of the sentence to be served in custody with the remainder on licence. Disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years with no review for five years.

Signal2
BirminghamLive

Bordesley Green, Birmingham: Mohammed Nabeel and Nazar Hussain

#TheList Nazar Hussain, born 28/02/1969, of 109 Rotherfield Road, Birmingham B26 2SH, and Mohammed Nabeel, born May 1991, of 50 Ludlow Road, Birmingham B8 3BY – for animal welfare offences at pet shop Bordesley Green Pet & Aquatics

Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions
Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions

Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5EP, admitted multiple animal welfare offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Hussain pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Mohammed 'Nabz' Nabeel was the manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics, but failed to look after the animals properly
Mohammed ‘Nabz’ Nabeel was the manager of the pet store but failed to look after the animals properly

The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.

The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:

  • A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
  • Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
  • A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
  • Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water

The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.

A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.

Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.

District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.

Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Sentencing: 10 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. Total costs of £5,600 between them. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years.

Birmingham Updates

Knotty Ash, Liverpool: Ronald Wheeler

#TheList donkey ride operator Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Wheeler, born c. 1977, of Haydn Road, Liverpool L14 – let his horse die slowly and painfully from poisoning

Donkey ride operator Ronald Wheeler's horse Oscar had to be euthanised after being poisoned by ragwort.
Cruel and irresponsible: Ronald Wheeler’s horse Oscar had to be euthanised after being poisoned by ragwort.

Ronnie Wheeler admitted three charges of animal neglect at Liverpool Magistrates Court.

Wheeler left his horse Oscar grazing in a field in Fazakerley which contained the poisonous weed ragwort – which is deadly to horses – despite being warned by Liverpool council to remove it.

The RSPCA were called to the field on August 6, 2018, after receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about the horse’s welfare.

When inspector Joanne MacDonald arrived at the scene with a veterinary surgeon they could see the horse was staggering around and collapsing.

They realised he was blind, was struggling to stand and was unable to swallow.

Ronald Wheeler with father Eric Wheeler of Thomas Lane, Liverpool L14 who also faced horse cruelty charges. The outcome of the case against him is currently unknown.
Ronald Wheeler with father Eric Wheeler of Thomas Lane, Liverpool L14 who also faced horse cruelty charges. The outcome of the case against him is currently unknown.

The vet decided Oscar needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had been poisoned by ragwort after being exposed to it for many weeks or even months.

The vet also described Oscar as having a low body score for his physical condition, and also revealed a significant worm burden.

Horse abuser Ronald Wheeler from Liverpool, UK, operates a donkey hire business
The Wheelers operate a donkey ride business called Waterfront Carriages and Donkey Hire

The court heard two months before, on June 15, the council had sent a letter to Wheeler urging him to remove the weed which in some places had grown to three feet tall.

Inspector MacDonald said: “It was an awful case to deal with as poor Oscar was clearly suffering. He was collapsing and the ragwort had caused his blindness which meant he was walking into things and was clearly in a distressed state.

“To make matters worse Wheeler had been told previously to remove the ragwort by the council but he had failed to do this.

“Responsible horse owners should know ragwort is damaging to the horse’s liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage.”

Sentencing: jailed for 12 weeks; ordered to pay £786 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.

Liverpool Echo

Aberdeenshire: Frank James and Michelle Wood

#TheList puppy farmer Frank James, born 05/04/1967, of 105 Coronation Way, Montrose, Angus DD10 9DW, and accomplice Michelle Wood, born c. 1989, of Berrymuir Road, Macduff AB44

Puppy farmer and serial animal abuser Frank James alongside latest accomplice Michelle Wood

Frank James and Michelle Wood caused dogs, ferrets and rabbits suffering at East Mains of Ardlogie Farm near Fyvie, Aberdeenshire AB53 8PH.

East Mains of Arlogie Farm signpost

The Scottish SPCA and police raided the farm in November 2017, removing 105 animals including 87 dogs, the youngest being a few days old.

Inhumane conditions on Frank James’s filthy puppy farm where scant regard was given to animal welfare.

The animals were taken to Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centres for treatment and rehabilitation.

An undercover investigator for the Scottish SPCA described the conditions as “absolutely disgraceful”.

The investigator said: “We believe this was the largest scale puppy farming operation in Scotland.

“The conditions these dogs were being kept in were absolutely disgraceful. It fell far below the minimum standard in terms of animal welfare and, given the environment and sheer volume of puppies, it was immediately evident these were not being kept as pets and the premises was effectively a battery farm for pups.

“Our investigation revealed dogs on site were being intensively bred with little to no regard for their welfare.

“On site, we found a burnt out van which had dog carcasses within, suggesting this was a means of disposing dead pups.”

Golden retrievers rescued during a previous raid on Frank James’s puppy farm

James first came to the attention of the Scottish SPCA in 2011 after selling a poorly cocker spaniel puppy on Christmas Eve. The pup was in such poor condition he had to be put to sleep by a vet the following day. In November 2012 James was banned from having any contact with animals for three years.

A Scottish SPCA investigation into James’s activities in March 2013 led to more than 70 dogs being seized from the same address.

Inspectors found cattle sheds packed with breeding bitches and dogs suffering with lice, skin sores, matted hair and cysts on their paws due to the floor being covered in faeces.

Frank James's two sons, Frankie and Sean James, daughter Elizabeth Sutherland, and daughter-in-law Charlotte James
Family business: Sean James, who was convicted of animal cruelty alongside his father and uncle in 2014, is pictured on the far right with sister Elizabeth James, brother Frankie James of 20 Greenbanks, Bridge Road, Banff. His wife Charlotte is on the far left.

Following the investigation, James’ along with brother Edward James and son Sean James pleaded guilty to welfare offences in October 2014.

Frank James and brother Edward James pictured outside court in 2014

Frank James and his brother were banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years.

Cruel puppy farmer Frank James

Sean James, who was 18 at the time, was ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years

Frank James's daughter Elizabeth Sutherland
Frank James’s daughter Elizabeth Sutherland (DoB 09/05/1992) of Kintore, Inverurie

In September 2016 a planning application in the name of Frank James’ daughter Elizabeth James (now Elizabeth Sutherland of Hillhead Caravan Park, Kintore, Inverurie AB51 0YX) with Sean James as the named agent was submitted to Aberdeen Council for the East Mains of Ardlogie farm to be used as breeding kennels. Following a huge wave of public objections the application was rejected at the eleventh hour.

Undeterred, the James family continued to operate their puppy farm illegally and Frank James flouted his ban on selling puppies.

Sentencing: James was jailed for nine months and banned from owning animals for life. Wood was given 300 hours of unpaid work and placed under supervision for two years. She was banned from keeping animals for ten years.

STV News

Blackpool, Lancashire: Nikki Haworth T/A Haworth Arabian Stud

#TheList horse breeder Nicola Jane Haworth, born 4 February 1961, of The Sycamores, Jubilee Lane, Marton, Blackpool FY5 4ER – kept horses in such squalor that 11 had to be put down

Horse abuser Nikki Haworth from Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Breeder Nikki Haworth kept her horses in such squalor that several of them had to be put down
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their heartless owner

Haworth was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to 24 horses and failing to meet the needs of 31 horses.

Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity’s inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables – some without doors or missing wooden panels.

The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
RSPCA officials found the horses in dilapidated mud-caked stables that had not had their doors opened in months.

Ms Wilde added: “The evidence shows the conditions were horrendous. Six animals were such an appalling condition they had to be put to sleep by the vet immediately.

“Five more were euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.

“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”

Some of the horses’ hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.

The remaining 20 horses were taken away for care and re-homing.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

Writing about the case, which he said was the culmination of over 10 months of hard work and dedication by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, HAPPA, Lancashire Constabulary and others, RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson said:

In September 2018 a magistrates warrant was executed and I walked onto a stable yard in Blackpool. I was horrified by the scale and level of suffering one individual could cause to so many horses.

I saw 31 horses in stables which had not had the doors opened in months. Dirty bedding was stacked half way up the doors. Once opened they wouldn’t close again because months worth of muck spilled out.

There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made the step off.

Of these horses 6 were immediately euthanised on veterinary advice to end their suffering. Since then a further 5 have been euthanised on welfare grounds. Despite reports to the contrary none of the horses were killed because the RSPCA didn’t know how to handle them. Every decision to euthanise was made on Veterinary advice using police powers.

Since that time the individual involved has offered no defence for her deplorable actions. She actually hasn’t turned up to court yet. Instead she has taken to the internet and launched a smear campaign against the RSPCA and more specifically myself. 

I personally will never lose any sleep over what she or her friends may think of me however I will always defend my charity!

Unfortunately, until this point I have been unable to respond to posts on forums, Facebook or wherever else lies have been spread due to the matter being an active case.

However with today’s verdict I can now say that the conditions at this yard were the most horrendous I have ever seen in my time investigating animal cruelty. Furthermore the severe and obvious pain visible in many of these horses was sickening.

Today the overwhelming evidence was presented to a District Judge who had no hesitation in find the defendant guilty on all charges.

Sentencing: £4,000 in legal costs; six-month curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

BBC News
Blackpool Gazette

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.

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