A man from Selby has been banned from keeping all mammals for 10 years after five dogs were rescued from poor conditions living amongst piles of excrement and empty food bowls in a property he was responsible for in Lincolnshire.
Sadly, one was put to sleep on advice of a vet due to severe behavioural issues.
Edward Ernest Lees, 40, who’s address is Grange Meadows, Selby, was sentenced at Hull Magistrates’ Court
He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a Jack Russell Terrier named Sam by failing to seek treatment for his severe dental disease, and a further charge of failing to meet the needs of five dogs.
RSPCA Inspector Laura Jones visited the property, in Saddleback Road, Howdales, Lincolnshire, on 22 January 2020.
She could see two Jack Russell Terriers at the window and could hear more dogs being kept in an outbuilding.
The officer placed sellotape across the doors and notices asking the owner of the dogs to contact her. The next day she returned to see that the tape was still intact indicating no one had been through the doors for 24-hours, so she contacted the police to gain entry.
She said: “When I opened the door to the sitting room where the two dogs were being kept the stench of ammonia hit me instantly and made my eyes water.
“There was no food or water available in the sitting room for these dogs, I could just see three empty bowls on the floor and two empty 10kg plastic sacks of dog biscuits which were next to a pile of excrement.
“The floor was also wet with what appeared to be urine. The dogs had a red fluffy blanket on the floor and a sofa with exposed rusty springs and there was a significant large pile of dry and wet excrement in the right hand corner of the sitting room.
“This was clearly a totally inadequate environment for these dogs and I was so relieved to be able to take them into our care and bring them to safety to get them the care they needed.”
Inspector Laura Jones and the police discovered three more dogs living in an outbuilding.
The entire ground level floor was covered in impacted excrement and a strong stench of faeces and urine.
There was a three-seater sofa and an armchair which were both stained and ripped and more empty packets of dog food along the floor.
Inspector Jones added: “There were three empty plastic bowls on top of the excrement and a round yellow plastic container containing brown liquid, and there was a red washing up type plastic bowl with a hole in the side which was full of water.”
The dogs found at the property included a 11-year-old black and white crossbreed male called Ewen, an 11-year-old tan and white crossbred male called Sam, a crossbreed male named Colin, a 12-year-old female crossbreed dog named Jessie and another crossbreed dog called Sheldon.
The dogs were removed and assessed by a vet who found that the tan and white dog Sam was underweight with rotting teeth, gingivitis, severe dehydration, a flea infestation and he weighed around 4kg less than he should.
The vet report concluded: “I feel that Sam was suffering. The suffering included severe dental pain, numerous open wounds, severe dehydration, active infections. His extremely poor body condition meant he was succumbing to organ failure due to lack of any form of nutrition, he had no fat reserves.”
Vets feared the worst that he would have to be put to sleep but thankfully he started to pull through and has since been rehomed.
In mitigation, Lees said that the dogs had initially belonged to a relative but he took them on when they passed away. He was having financial problems and grieving and the situation spiralled out of control. He also entered an early guilty plea.
Lees was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work and he was also disqualified from keeping all mammals for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim surcharge of £95.
All five dogs were signed over to the RSPCA’s care and Sam, Colin, Ewen and Jessie were all rehomed. Sadly, Sheldon was put to sleep on advice of a vet due to severe behavioural issues.