Dog breeder spared prison despite keeping animals in dark and dirty conditions

·2-min read
One of the animals found in Jay Clarke's property in Crawley
One of the animals found in Jay Clarke's property in Crawley

AN EXPERIENCED dog breeder has been convicted after keeping her dogs in “alarming” conditions.

Jay Clarke, 55, kept 14 dogs in dirty, dimly-lit, and cramped rooms at her home in Black Dog Walk, Crawley.

RSPCA officers discovered the animals with skin conditions, dental diseases, and ear and eye conditions – while one was even found with multiple infected wounds.

A court said that despite her disability, she was aware that the dogs were suffering and had not acted on previous advice or sought help.

The Argus: The animals were found in a bad state
The Argus: The animals were found in a bad state

The animals were found in a bad state

RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley, who led the investigation, said in his witness statement: “To the rear of this was an area of approximately four metres by two and a half metres which contained the spaniels.

“This area had a strong smell, and the walls and floor were stained with either faeces or dirt or a mixture of the two.

“There was a human bed in this area with a mattress. The mattress was stained brown and there were blankets on it which were also brown and covered in faeces or mud.

“The floor had concrete missing in places and two dogs were cowering in the area where a draw was missing from a wooden chest of drawers.

“There were no water or food bowls in this area. In this area I saw packs of dog food, but this was not accessible to the dogs.”

The Argus: Two dogs were cowering in a cabinet when officers entered the property
The Argus: Two dogs were cowering in a cabinet when officers entered the property

Two dogs were cowering in a cabinet when officers entered the property

Inspector Woodley said one of the spaniels looked to have been “de-matted with a sharp implement”.

Two were in a “severe condition” while one, named Betty, was urgently rushed to the vet.

“She was in such a poor condition that two police officers agreed to take her in an emergency fashion for immediate emergency treatment,” said Inspector Woodley.

Officers visited the property on April 6, 2021, after concerns were raised about the welfare of a large number of animals living there.

The Argus: Two dogs were taken for urgent treatment
The Argus: Two dogs were taken for urgent treatment

Two dogs were taken for urgent treatment

Sussex Police obtained a warrant and officers returned on April 8 with an independent vet.

Some 16 dogs and two cats were seized and later signed over for rehoming by the RSPCA.

Clarke was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison - suspended for 12 months - ordered to complete ten rehabilitation sessions, pay £1,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £128.