29/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 19:59

Pets ban for Somerset cruelty pair with 69 animals

Category: England

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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BBC 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 29th Aug 2014]

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