Woman forced animals to live in little prison cells
A 64-year-old woman who ran a dog fly-ball team has been given a suspended jail sentence after forcing dozens of animals to live in "little prison cells".
The RSPCA said dogs living in crates were stacked on top of each other, with no food, water, blankets or toys at the home of Margaret Greaves.
Greaves, of Newbound Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty at Mansfield Magistrates' Court to a number of animal welfare offences, including causing unnecessary suffering by not providing veterinary treatment.
Magistrates handed Greaves a lifetime disqualification order on keeping dogs, a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year, and a three-year ban on keeping all animals.
She was also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
The court heard RSPCA inspectors visited Greaves' property on April 6 last year after concerns were raised and found 30 adult dogs, six puppies, two cats and two parrots.
Commenting on the case, RSPCA inspector Laura Kirkham said: "They were living in their own little prison cells, it was absolutely horrific and not something you expect to see in this day and age.
"There was faeces and urine in the crates and, in some, there were two dogs in each.
"The smell was disgusting, it was so overpowering that it was burning my throat."
The dogs were spread across the property inside the house, an outhouse, a van and an outdoor run.
Ms Kirkham added: "There were seven dogs living in this van, all in crates, six in the back and one in the front.
"What is even sadder is that they were spending an extremely long time in these crates. It was just absolutely horrific.
"The squalor in the outhouse was particularly appalling. It had crates stacked on top of one another, and it was dark. At first we couldn't see one of the dogs in the crate at the bottom because it was so dark."
The RSPCA said Greaves ran a Nottinghamshire-based dog flyball team and had competed in national and international competitions in the past.
Five of the dogs were put to sleep on veterinary advice due to health issues and a young puppy removed from the property died from natural causes.
The remaining animals are either in RSPCA care or have been re-homed.