A UTTOXETER man who kept three dogs in a small kennel with an ‘overwhelming’ smell of urine and faeces has been banned from keeping animals for three years and ordered to pay a £2,000 fine.
Dominic Peaty, of Balance Hill, admitted failing to provide the three lurcher dogs with a suitable living environment which was weather-proof and free from hazards on January 17.
Roger Price, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told Stafford Magistrates’ Court that the three dogs, 22-month-old Spike, 14-month-old Billy and 12 to 13-week-old Jacob, were found after a search was carried out by the police under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The puppy belonged to Peaty’s brother Daniel but charges against him were withdrawn as he is currently in hospital suffering with mental health difficulties.
The lurcher’s were found in a back yard in an alleyway which acted as a run with a small kennel at the end.
The officer who attended the scene said it was covered with ‘very runny diarrhoea’ with a strong smell of urine and faeces.
The RSPCA inspector said the kennel, which was in a state of disrepair and not insulated, was far from adequate for three dogs and the smell was overwhelming.
Officers seized the dogs to take them to a veterinary surgery where they were found to have soiled coats, thinning of fur, hair loss, scars and scabs, however, the dogs were found to be in an otherwise good condition and well-muscled.
A video of the scene revealed the kennel had a concrete floor, three food bowls, one containing frozen water, diarrhoea on the floor, gaps at the edges, an ill-fitting roof, screws sticking out and large wooden splinters from where the wood had been chewed from the door.
It was also not waterproof or windproof so the only heat would have been generated by the dogs. As lurchers have a lean frame they generate little natural heat, especially the puppy whose heat loss would have been rapid.
In police interview, Peaty said the two older dogs were allowed to come in the house but the puppy stayed outside as ‘it makes a mess’.
He said he checked the dogs at midnight before police arrived and did not notice the diarrhoea. Peaty said the splinters were due to the puppy which ‘is a pain’.
Mr Roger listed costs incurred by the investigation which ran into thousands of pounds.
Peaty, defending himself, said the kennel area was cleaned every day but the RSPCA inspector attended early in the morning and he had flu that day so had not had chance to clean it.
He said he regularly removed splinters and the screws were at the back.
Peaty said: “As for being waterproof the kennel is still there now and is as dry as a bone.
“I took the dogs out with me every day, fed and cleaned them. I took pride in my dogs.” They have now been signed over to the RSPCA.
Presiding magistrate Keith Taylor said: “We are concerned that the conditions the dogs were kept in for a significant period of time was totally unacceptable. Whether that was deliberate neglect or through naivety is not for us to decide.”
Magistrates handed Peaty a community order with a supervision requirement and the thinking skills programme for 12 months with 120 hours unpaid work as well as the fine and disqualification.