Surrey

Dogs couple lose Guildford court fight to get children back

A couple who once had 19 dogs and a home that was "indescribably filthy" and "utterly squalid" have lost a court battle to get their children back.

The children, aged 10 and five, were placed into foster care nearly three years ago after a judge ruled they had suffered serious, wide-ranging neglect.

The couple, in their 50s, asked the family court in Guildford, Surrey to discharge the care orders.

Judge Peter Nathan accepted that the couple's home had improved.

Dogs ban

He said they loved their children, but there was a real danger the house could deteriorate again.

The court heard the mother had been prosecuted by the RSPCA and banned from keeping dogs for four years.

She said that when the ban ended she would have only one or two dogs.

The couple, who cannot be named, told the judge their house was now clean and neatly decorated.

But Judge Nathan ruled he could place no reliance on anything the mother said about her future plans for keeping dogs.

He said she resented social services, police and authority and that the father was paranoid and had complained about police, social workers, teachers and the RSPCA conspiring because they were jealous of his lifestyle.

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