Pets ban for Somerset cruelty pair with 69 animals
Published: 19th Apr 2012 14:45:33
A couple have been banned from having animals for eight years after allowing their 69 pets, including 56 large dogs, to live in squalid conditions.
Last month, Nicola Hood, 31, and her husband, James Hood, 40, of Queens Road, Minehead, admitted nine counts of animal cruelty.
They have also been given a two-year conditional discharge.
Taunton Magistrates Court ordered them to pay £250 each in costs, which will go to the RSPCA animal charity.
The conditional discharge means they will be re-sentenced if they breach the conditions of their release.
When the RSPCA officers raided the four-bedroomed semi-detached house in October they said they were "swamped by a sea of dogs".
The pair had 56 dogs, including huskies, German shepherds, Rottweilers and Staffordshire bull terriers, three cats living in the bathroom, six birds, including love birds, in dirty cages, and four chinchillas.
During a hearing on 30 March the couple both admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and six of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals were met.
The court was told the couple's five children were at risk of contracting disease from the animals.
During the raid RSPCA officers also found the couple's nine-month-old baby in a bed with sheets soiled with bird droppings.
The prosecution told the court in March many of the animals had been suffering from complaints affecting their eyes, teeth, ears and skin, some of them for up to a year.
Neighbours complained of endless noise from the dogs and said the smell was so bad, it stopped them going in to their own gardens.
Most of the dogs have been rehomed and eight remain at the RSPCA centre at West Hatch.
Somerset County Council said it was made aware of the family and had dealt with the issue of child safety.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Pets ban for Somerset cruelty pair with 69 animals [Online] (Updated 19th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1423355/Pets-ban-for-Somerset-cruelty-pair-with-69-animals [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com