Three jailed for burying puppies alive in garden

Three dog breeders from Staffordshire have been jailed after two puppies were found buried alive in a garden.

James Perks, 73, Lorraine Perks, 49, and Stephen Jenkins, 35, were each sentenced to 25 weeks in prison and banned from keeping animals for life.

They had admitted 10 animal cruelty charges at an earlier hearing at Burton Magistrates' Court.

Peter Rolfe, chairman of the bench, told them: "If we could send you to prison for longer, we would do."

Magistrates had heard the puppies were recovered from a shallow grave in the back garden of the defendants' home in French Avenue, Mile Oak, but had to be put down by a vet.

Another 15 puppies and nine dogs were removed from the address by RSPCA inspectors, who described the state of the house as "disgusting".

The court heard the floors and furniture at the property was covered in dog excrement, and dogs and puppies at the address were kept in rabbit hutches for 23 hours a day.

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