Kent

Puppy 'dumped in blood-soaked freezer' at Brenzett puppy farm

Beagle found at puppy farm Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Some dogs were kept in dark, cold kennels and others in filthy makeshift runs

A puppy farmer has been convicted of animal cruelty after the RSPCA found dogs living in "filthy" conditions and a puppy's body in a bloody freezer.

Mark Burgess, 39, was convicted of eight offences under the Animal Welfare Act after the RSPCA and Kent Police raided a property in Brenzett.

They found 20 dogs, including eight puppies, living in unsuitable conditions, the RSPCA said.

Burgess will be sentenced at Canterbury Magistrates' Court in September.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption RSPCA inspectors and police officers executed a warrant at the puppy farm in February

RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport said after the hearing: "We found a mix of different breeds at the site including beagles, Dalmatians, spaniels and dachshund crosses.

"Some were pregnant, others had litters of tiny puppies while some had clear signs that they'd been used for breeding previously."

Mr Lamport added: "When we searched a freezer onsite we made a horrifying discovery; a small, four-week-old puppy.

"The body was frozen rigid and dumped in the bottom of a blood-soaked freezer.

"One beagle was sitting uncomfortably in a filthy, wet kennel. She looked so depressed."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA described conditions at the puppy farm as "filthy"

The RSPCA launched an investigation after reports that four puppies bought from the farm had become ill and died.

Many of the dogs were being kept in unsuitable conditions, some in dark, cold kennels and others in filthy makeshift runs, an RSPCA spokesman said.

"Some of the dogs were extremely frightened and shut down. Some were living in almost complete darkness and others were huddled at the back of their runs," Mr Lamport said.

Burgess, of Old Ashford Road, Brenzett was found guilty on Monday at Canterbury Crown Court after a trial in June was adjourned.

He is due to be sentenced on 23 September at the same court.

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