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4 Paws Centre owners banned from keeping animals

RSPCA officers removing dogs from 4 Paws vets and rescue centre
Image caption More than 150 cats and dogs were removed during a raid in March 2018

A couple who ran an overcrowded animal rescue centre and a vets have been sentenced for animal welfare charges.

RSPCA inspectors removed more than 160 animals during a raid at 4 Paws Centre in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire in March 2018.

Owners Jodie Fairbrother and Paul Fairbrother were given suspended jail terms and also ordered to pay £500 costs at Grimsby Magistrates' Court.

Both were banned from keeping or trading in animals for five years.

Jodie Fairbrother, 40, admitted six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. She also admitted four breaches of the duty of a person responsible for an animal to ensure its welfare.

She was jailed for 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

Paul Fairbrother, 50, admitted one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. He admitted two breaches of the duty of a person responsible for an animal to ensure its welfare.

He was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The pair kept animals in filthy conditions at the South Killingholme premises

The RSPCA said many of the animals were kept in cramped, crowded and inadequate conditions, with one large dog kept in a kennel for three years.

Others were found to suffer from contagious illnesses, one animal was found dead at the site and others had to be put to sleep.

The couple had been importing a number of street dogs from Romania that did not have health of biosecurity checks.

RSPCA inspectors found the Fairbrothers had imported 4,600 dogs between January 2017 and March 2018.

Grainne Casey, from the animal charity, said many of the dogs had the potential "to be carrying serious diseases such as rabies".

District judge Daniel Curtis told the pair they were "fortunate not to have gone to prison".

Charges against a teenager, who cannot be named, were dismissed.

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