Banned breeder 'ashamed' after 38 dogs and puppies left in horrendous state

-Credit: (Image: RSPCA)
-Credit: (Image: RSPCA)

A breeder who kept 38 dogs and puppies in faeces-smeared pens and crates, some of whom were eating their own excrement, has said they are “ashamed and embarrassed” after being banned from keeping animals for ten years.

The Italian greyhounds, including several nursing females, were discovered in the garage and conservatory of the property in South Drive, Ormesby, Middlesbrough by the police, who called in the RSPCA.

The adult and juvenile dogs and puppies, who ranged in age from three to 14 weeks, were living in nine wire pens on urine-soaked bedding with no food or toys, and only one of the enclosures had water available.

Read more: Top election issues for Yorkshire voters revealed as UK heads to the polls

All of the breeding females had severe dental disease, one had a broken front leg, and six of the 19 puppies were malnourished. Daniel Simpson, 45, has now been disqualified from keeping animals for ten years after admitting five offences contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 - including one of breeding dogs without a licence - following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

At a sentencing hearing at Teesside Magistrates Court on June 21, the court heard how the dogs were removed from the property on September 12 last year because of concerns for their welfare.

In her written evidence to the court, RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson, one of three officers from the charity who attended the property, said: “I went through to the conservatory and found a number of dogs and puppies in crates around the edges of the room. There were also dog pens in the garage outside containing more dogs and puppies, and there was a strong smell of ammonia in these areas. I counted 38 dogs and puppies, which were all Italian greyhounds.”

19 of the puppies examined by vets were malnourished
19 of the puppies examined by vets were malnourished -Credit:RSPCA

“The small crates in the conservatory and the pens and small crates in the garage were all against the walls and most were next to each other. They were all dirty and smelly and had faeces smeared over the bases.

“Only one pen of nine puppies in the garage had any water available. The other eight pens had no water and some didn’t have any bowls in them at all. There was no food or any toys available in any of the pens for the dogs or puppies. Any bedding was dirty and soaked in urine and not every enclosure had bedding. I saw the dogs eating their own poo and fighting amongst themselves in the crates.

“Many of them appeared underweight and I was particularly concerned about one of the smaller puppies who seemed very lethargic. One dog had an obviously broken and hanging right fore leg.”

Get all the latest and breaking North Yorkshire news straight to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter here.

The court was told that four female greyhounds and 15 puppies were being kept in four pens in the conservatory, while a further five pens containing 19 greyhounds were found in the garage. Despite the side door being open, the smell of ammonia and excrement was almost overwhelming, the court heard.

A vet was called to come out and look at the dogs and she confirmed they were likely to suffer if their circumstances didn’t change and they were all taken into possession by the police.

In written evidence to the court the same vet who later examined them said that six of the puppies - who were given body condition scores of one out of six - had been suffering for at least two weeks because of an inadequate diet.

Five adult females had been caused to suffer ‘for at least months,’ because of advanced dental disease which Simpson had failed to seek veterinary treatment for, while Daisy had been caused unnecessary suffering for at least three days because of an untreated broken leg.

The vet concluded that Simpson, now of Sleights Crescent, Middlesbrough , had failed to meet their needs of all 38 greyhounds by failing to provide them with a suitable environment, diet, the ability to express normal patterns of behaviour and the need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.

The dogs were taken into the care of the RSPCA -Credit:RSPCA
The dogs were taken into the care of the RSPCA -Credit:RSPCA

The dogs were all signed over into the care of the RSPCA by Simpson during the course of the investigation, and the charity paid for their treatment and neutering.

Simpson will not be able to contest his disqualification order - which also includes dealing and transporting animals - for six years. He was also given an 18-month community order with a 12-month alcohol treatment requirement and 25 RAR days and told to pay costs of £990 and a victim surcharge of £114.

In mitigation the court was told that he was ashamed and embarrassed about what had happened and needed help for a drink problem. He was said to have been previously licensed as a ‘four star’ establishment to breed French Bulldogs but that had ended following the breakdown of a previous relationship.

Speaking after the case Inspector Wilson said: “The enclosures and conditions these greyhounds were kept in fell far short of the legal standards for a licenced breeding establishment. It was a large number of animals to rehabilitate and care for, but thanks to our network of branch centres and the help of fosterers we were able to quickly rehome them all, and it’s fantastic to see the dogs looking so happy with their new families.

“Of course we would always encourage anyone thinking of welcoming a dog into their family to consider rescuing one as we have hundreds of all shapes and sizes waiting to be adopted at our animal centres up and down the country. For people who are considering getting a puppy from a breeder we would urge them to do their homework, see their puppy with their mum in siblings in the place where they were born and raised, and use the puppy contract to ensure they are getting a happy, healthy pet and not supporting people who put profit before welfare.”

Birdie in her new home
Birdie in her new home -Credit:RSPCA