A MAN who left eight dogs in ‘a terrible state’ has been jailed for six months, fined £1,000 and banned from keeping animals for life.
Sixty-five-year-old Peter Hamilton-Smith was convicted of breaching an existing five-year ban on keeping animals; failing to meet the needs of eight dogs by failing to ensure a suitable environment to live in; failing to provide a suitable diet and protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease and causing unnecessary suffering to three Husky-type puppies by failing to provide necessary care and supervision to protect them.
He had denied all charges.
He was jailed for a further 60 days for breach of a suspended sentence.
The court heard RSPCA inspector Kaye Smith had visited Hamilton-Smith’s home in Sledmere Close, Peterlee, after a call from police.
Five adult dogs and three puppies were found to living in dirty and squalid conditions. The adult dogs all had ear mites and the puppies were underweight and had a very high worm burden.
“I had visited the property just days before after receiving a call from a member of the public who had purchased a puppy from the address and was worried about the conditions, but there had been no one at home,” said Insp Smith.
“These dogs were in a terrible state. One of the adult dogs, the mother, and her three puppies were a real worry and were hospitalised overnight at the vet’s for observation.”
Hamilton-Smith admitted living at the property but denied all the allegations.
The court heard the dogs were not his and were owned by a number of other people.
He had been banned from keeping animals for five years in May 2012 after an RSPCA prosecution which resulted in a conviction for causing unnecessary suffering to a female Akita which had to be put down.
“He told the court he had rehomed all of his other dogs but this was obviously not true,” said Insp Smith.
“Judging by the age of the puppies, the mother was pregnant with them at the time. Not only was he breaching his ban on keeping animals, but these other dogs’ needs were not being met and in some cases they were actually suffering.”
No owner came forward for the dogs so they were rehomed.