Jail for pair who kept dogs in filthy home

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A couple who breed dogs have been jailed for nine weeks for keeping cocker spaniels in their filthy Tamworth Road home.

A lifetime ban on keeping any animals was also imposed on wheelchair user Peter Chapman and his wife Shirley from Long Eaton.

The RSPCA, Erewash Borough Council staff and police were involved in rescuing the 20 dogs and a cat in January.

Peter, 53, and his 51-year-old wife pleaded guilty to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering and two of failing to meet the welfare needs of animals.

John Sutcliffe, for the RSPCA, told magistrates in Derby that some dogs were suffering from ear mites, worms and mastitis while several were emaciated.

Scott Cartledge, senior warden for Erewash Borough Council, described conditions inside the home as ‘unreal’ with excrement in several rooms.

Mr Sutcliffe said: “In cases of keeping animals in poor conditions, this is about as serious as it gets.”

When questioned, Shirley said she had kept pets for 30 years and bred them since 1994. Spaniels were up for sale at £350 each.

She told the RSPCA that one had been offered in exchange for a mobility scooter for her husband, who had suffered a brain tumour followed by strokes.

Andrew Coley, for the pair, told the court: “This is a sad case, not a cruel case. The house was inappropriate accommodation for dogs and was probably unfit for human habitation.

“It comes down to whether they could care for that many dogs. It is clear they could not.”