Breeder jailed over animals living in grubby conditions
Lynn Stoker was also banned from keeping animals for life at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court.
A breeder found to have more than 100 animals living in grubby conditions at her “chaotic” home has been jailed and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.
The RSPCA had initially tried to help Lynn Stoker, 63, after they visited her home in Byrness, Northumberland, but found on an inspection five months later that matters had not improved.
The animal welfare charity said she was jailed for 21 weeks at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court and banned from keeping animals for life, which cannot be appealed for 15 years.
She was convicted of 15 animal welfare offences following a trial, and the inspector who led the investigation said she fed the dogs waste from an army base and did not give them enough clean water.
The RSPCA had tried to help in 2017, offering veterinary assistance and to re-home animals but in May a warrant was executed and officers found 107 dogs, many in poor health, six puppies, three tortoises and two cats.
The charity said they were found living in unsuitable conditions and were seized by police and placed into RSPCA care.
Dogs had been kept in dark rooms and outbuildings, some in training cages and others in dirty kennels.
Other dogs were allowed to roam free around the property in a pack.
There were so many dogs, including chihuahuas, shih-tzu crosses, cockerpoos and bulldogs, that few had names.
Inspector Heidi Cleaver, who led the investigation, said every animal was affected by one or more welfare issues.
She said: “When we walked into one of the back rooms of the house we were just surrounded by dogs – they swarmed around our feet.
“Others were kept in crates and cages – some stacked on top of others – while others were kept outside in dark, damp and cold kennels with no bedding.
“The house was chaotic and noisy and there was nowhere for any of the dogs to escape from each other.”
She added: “The dogs were fed on left-overs from an army base – for example bacon, sausages – which are full of saturated fat, high in salt and not conducive to a healthy and balanced diet.”