Dad and daughter face jail after RSPCA inspector shocked at state of Sunderland home

SHOCKING CONDITIONS: RSPCA photos released in the case of Colin and Lisa Hill.
SHOCKING CONDITIONS: RSPCA photos released in the case of Colin and Lisa Hill.
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LEFT in squalor, these are the shocking conditions pets faced at a Sunderland home that leaves a father and daughter facing jail.

A dog and cat were found in such a poor state that they had to be put down.

Colin Hill, 65, and daughter Lisa, 31, admitted four charges each of failing to take the necessary steps to ensure the needs of an animal were met.

Also, one each of causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog and a domestic cat, when they appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Denise Jackman, prosecuting, said an RSPCA inspector had called at the family home in Pine Street, Millfield, in response to a report of a cat which was having problems with its hind legs.

Colin Hill had answered the door and denied any knowledge of such a cat. He did not want to let the inspector in, but offered to bring his cats to the door.

Asked how many he owned, he said five, none of which had any problems with their legs.

Lisa Hill had come to the door and initially refused to let the inspector in, but relented after persuasion from her father.

“There was a very strong smell of urine coming from within,” said Miss Jackman. “He was shocked to find the number of animals he could immediately see – four dogs and 13 cats in the sitting room.”

The inspector had spotted a small cat in the yard and Colin Hill had gone out to fetch it.

“It was sat in an area heavily soiled by faeces and did not move,” said Miss Jackman. “The cat tried to move, but its hind legs were not supporting its weight.

“It fell over. Mr Hill grabbed it easily, but was very rough in the handling of such a small and non-aggressive animal. Mr Hill said he had not noticed the condition and it must have happened that day.”

The Hills had agreed to sign the animals over to the RSPCA and they had been checked by a vet.

A collie and the cat with the problem with its legs had been in such a poor state that they had been put down.

The vet estimated the dog had been caused unnecessary suffering for two to three months.

“Animals had hernias, which should have been obvious to a caring owner,” said Miss Jackman.

“The defendants, when interviewed, were saying they had not noticed these things, did not realise these problems.”

Andrew Wigmore, mitigating, said it was a first time before any court for the pair and asked that the case be adjourned for probation reports.

After hearing the starting point for sentencing in a case of causing prolonged suffering was 18 weeks’ custody, magistrates agreed to adjourn the case to January 20 for reports, leaving all sentencing options – including imprisonment – open.