Cilcennin couple guilty of neglecting nearly 60 animals
The RSPCA has issued a warning to people who keep large numbers of animals after a Ceredigion couple were found guilty of neglecting nearly 60.
The charity said Iain and Joan Sheldon, from near Aberaeron, were convicted of failing to meet the welfare needs of 57 animals.
It said they were given a 24-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £2,500 costs by magistrates.
The RSPCA warned people who kept many animals to care for them properly.
Mrs Sheldon was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Chinese Crested-type dog and a horse.
Iain Sheldon, 72, and Joan Sheldon, 68, of Cilcennin, were found guilty of failing to meet the welfare needs of their animals by failing to provide a suitable environment, contrary to section nine of the Animal Welfare Act, said the RSPCA.
The charity said Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court heard that its officers visited the Sheldons' home three times in August 2011.
During these visits they noticed a horse with an injured leg, and a Chinese Crested-type dog with a chronic eye infection.
The RSPCA said the couple's animals, including dogs, cats, chickens and the horse, were housed in a variety of kennels, caravans and outbuildings.
The charity said the court had recognised the couple had not shown any malicious intent, but problems had arisen as a result of certain circumstances: Mr Sheldon's chronic ill-health and Mrs Sheldon's increased work load.
RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: "This was a serious case of animal neglect on a large scale. The defendants were clearly out of their depth.
"We are concerned that no confiscation or disqualification order was felt appropriate and will liaise with the defendants on returning the animals and also on safeguarding their future welfare."