Kent

Kent dog breeder Melanie King banned for animal cruelty

Some of the ill-treated dogs
Image caption The RSPCA said the dogs were found in "squalid and appalling" conditions

A Kent breeder who kept dogs in "truly appalling" conditions has been banned from keeping animals for life.

Melanie King, 55, was found guilty at Sittingbourne Magistrates' Court of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

RSPCA inspectors found more than 70 dogs living in squalor at her business at Whents Farm in Teynham in February.

Some of the dogs had untreated medical conditions and were living on soiled and damp bedding, the RSPCA said.

On Wednesday, King was also sentenced to 140 days in prison, suspended for 12 months.

'Totally irresponsible'

Magistrates ordered her to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 in costs.

RSPCA inspector Ray Bailey said: "Melanie King was totally irresponsible.

"She had been given previous warnings, but failed to take action to safeguard the animals' welfare.

"The conditions many of the dogs were kept in were squalid and truly appalling."

The RSPCA said Whents Farm now has new owners who have no connection to King.

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