Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds vet's assistant banned from keeping animals

Dogs found at Armley Vets Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Some of the dogs found at Armley Vets were husky puppies

A vet's assistant who kept cats and dogs in a "filthy dungeon" where she worked has been given a 12-week suspended jail sentence.

Police discovered 22 dogs and eight cats in the basement and back room of Armley Vets in Leeds last February.

Rochelle McEwan, 28, of Armley, who was convicted of six offences under the Animal Welfare Act, was also banned for working with or keeping animals.

Leeds magistrates heard the animals were kept in "appalling conditions".

Four dogs and a cat were put down after the raid on the practice in Town Street.

McEwan's sentence was suspended for a year.

Gary Samuel, a vet who was also convicted, is to be sentenced in March.

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Media captionPolice discovered 22 dogs and eight cats - some of them in cages - in the basement and back room of Armley Vets last February

Insp Nikki Cheetham of the RSPCA said: "The cellar was like a dungeon, there was no light, no proper ventilation and it smelled disgusting.

"There were faeces on the floor, no food available and generally appalling conditions."

Officers discovered some of the animals by accessing a trapdoor covered with carpet, while others were found shut in a separate room.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Both cats and dogs were found in cages

The court heard Samuel was given leave not to attend the sentencing as he was in the US.

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