York & North Yorkshire

Whitby couple kept dogs in 'squalid' conditions

Neglected dog Image copyright PA
Image caption One of the dogs had to be anaesthetised so it could be clipped by the vet, with 1.4kg of fur removed

A couple have been sentenced for keeping dogs and cats in "squalid and horrific" conditions at a farm near Whitby.

The animals, belonging to Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly, lived in a "dark, filthy" barn, a court heard.

Allinson, 52, and Connolly, 56, were handed a 10-week prison term, suspended for a year, and banned from keeping cats for seven years.

The pair bred puppies at Fotherley Farm in Grosmont in North Yorkshire.

Inspectors found the animals living in their own excrement, a court heard.

York Magistrates' Court heard RSPCA inspectors found "atrocious" conditions after a tip-off by people who found fleas and worms in puppies they bought from the farm.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The barn where the animals were kept smelled strongly of urine and faeces, the court heard

The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like "a big ball of fur".

He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.

District Judge Adrian Lower was told the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered their own health problems, including diabetes and depression.

All the animals apart from their two pet dogs were taken for rehoming.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The dogs and cats had been sleeping in their own faeces for bedding

Allinson and Connolly admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.

District Judge Lower said the animals had "wholly inappropriate bedding" made of their own faeces because of a lack of other bedding.

The court heard that instead of caring for the animals Connolly spent his time looking after Allinson, who was said to suffer from depression.

During the inspection Connolly told the RSPCA he had "had enough" and no longer felt able to look after the animals.

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