A man has been disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years and given a suspended jail term after dogs he kept were found in "disgusting" conditions.
Kieron Wade, 22, appeared before South Shields Magistrates’ Court following an RSPCA investigation.
Four dogs - two terrier types and two Lurcher types - were discovered when a warrant was executed at his home in Coalbank Road, Moorsley, near Hetton in April this year.
One of the dogs - terrier ‘Musto’ - had severe injuries to his face and jaw consistent with having been used for hunting and the dogs were all living in "disgusting" conditions.
RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent said: “These dogs were living in absolute filth.
"Three of them were confined to a pen which was covered in diarrhoea, some of which had gone mouldy, and was swimming in urine. It smelled horrendous.
“One of these was Musto whose injuries were terrible.
"Most of his lower jaw was missing and he was struggling to eat as a result.
"He has had to have an operation but happily has since put on weight and is showing no signs of pain.
“The fourth dog had a kennel in the yard where there was evidence he was tethered some of the time.
"Again, there was faeces everywhere and the dog had recently been sick.
"It was disgusting.”
At an earlier hearing Wade admitted three offences under the Animal Welfare Act between January and April this year in causing unnecessary suffering to Musto by failing to provide adequate veterinary care and attention for a problem with his jaw, causing unnecessary suffering to Musto by failing to protect him from pain, suffering, injury and disease as evidenced by the facial injuries he sustained while suffering from a previous injury and infection and failing to meet the needs of two Lurcher type dogs and two terrier type dogs - including Musto - by failing to provide them with a suitable environment.
As well as the disqualification he was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was also ordered to do 15 days rehabilitation activity and 150 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £115.
Insp Gent added: “These dogs have suffered a great deal and I have no doubt have also caused a great deal of suffering to other, wild, animals in the charge of Wade.
“He has used and abused these dogs.”
The two terrier type dogs were signed over to the RSPCA and have been happily re-homed.
The two Lurcher type dogs will now pass into RSPCA care and efforts will be made to find new homes for them.