A dog breeder is facing prison after letting three greyhounds starve to death - putting the body of one into a freezer.
Clive Elliott, a registered greyhound breeder and trainer, left eight dogs to starve for months while he binged on drink and drugs, a court heard.
The animals were found starving, with overgrown nails, abscesses and scurvy when Elliott’s property was visited by police and the RSPCA.
The 40-year-old had claimed he had not fed them for four days but a vet estimated that it could have been months.
The case comes less than 18 months after a rescue charity for greyhounds found a kennel that housed more than 70 greyhounds in a "horrendous" state, including faeces and claw marks on the walls.
Elliott was convicted in his absence of four charges at Swindon Magistrates' Court, including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure an animal’s needs were met.
His trial heard that the eight dogs were kept in kennels at his sick mother's house for racing.
Elliott would visit the house to feed the dogs - some of whom had raced as recently as January last year - and look after them, but in the weeks leading up to the visit by the RSPCA and police in April 2019, he had failed to care for them.
Prosecutor Matthew Knight said officers found eight dogs, three of whom were dead - with one having been stuffed into a chest freezer in a bin liner. Another dog died a week later after its condition deteriorated.
Mr Knight said: “There was no dog food whatsoever in the property.”
He said autopsies on the dead dogs revealed evidence of poor nutrition and a vet who examined them said it would have taken weeks, possibly months, to reach that stage.
The court heard that Elliott, who did not appear because of supposed sciatica, blamed the situation on the breakdown of a relationship, which caused him to turn to drink and drugs.
Telling police and the RSPCA that he was “too proud” to ask for help, he said his mother would have fed the dogs had there been any food for them, adding: “There wasn’t any food for my mum - that’s how low I was.”
Chairman of the bench Amanda Lee said: "We’ve read the facts, heard what you said and got the pictures.
"We have also got the fact Mr Elliot himself recognised he had not visited for several days."
Elliott is facing a possible prison sentence and could be banned from keeping animals.