Dog breeder in court for cruelty to pet

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A dog breeder has been fined nearly £4000 and put on a curfew for four months after she admitted causing unecessary suffering to one of her own dogs.

However, Penny Summers of Thunderbush Farm, Commondale, Whitby has been allowed to retain her licence to keep animals.

She was sentenced at Scarborough Magistrate’s Court last Thursday after admitting causing uneccesary suffering to Boston terrier called Prada.

The 39-year-old answered a charge of causing Prada to suffer unnecessarily - and failing to investigate and address the causes of the animal’s poor body condition and weight loss.

The Boston terrier was one of 82 dogs found in squalid conditions when the RSPCA and police, acting on a tip-off, raided her home in March this year.

The court heard Prada was among seven dogs kept in the lounge, the floor of which was “covered in urine and faeces.”

The vets who found Prada, described him as “thin, quiet, and dull with a weeping eye, crust on the ears and dental disease.”

Rachael Landin, prosecuting added: “The faeces and urine present were likely to have led to the weeping eye. The RSPCA vet said Prada had been suffering for several weeks.”

During the search of Summers’ home, many other dogs, some of which were one-week-old, were found to have been walking in their own waste, while an outdoor keennel was “cold, dark and without daylight.”

Summers, who has bred dogs since she was 20, previously admitted failing to investigate and address the causes of Prada’s poor body condition and weight loss - leading the animal to suffer unnecessary.

Paul Watson, mitigating, said: “The situation is Miss Summers is someone whose main occupation is grooming dogs.

“It is fair to say the number of dogs in the property got a little bit out of hand. Miss Summers has acknowleged the difficulties by having so many dogs in the property and she has now reduced that number down to 24, a number which she regards as being reasonable.”

He added that Summers accepted the neglect of one dog but pleaded for her license to be kept as it was her main occupation and that she would have difficulty re-housing the remaining animals.

Summers was ordered to pay £3,920.78, a £60 surcharge and put on curfew between 7pm and 7am for four months.

Speaking after the sentencing, Karen Colman, a deputy chief inspector with the RSPCA, said: “We are disappointed she hasn’t got a disqualification but we understand why, as it is her livelihood.

“We will now work very closely with Scarborough Borough Council, the licensing authority, to monitor her on a long term basis and work with her and ensure the welfare of the animals.”

She added: “We have had some real positives out of this. Hopefully, we can improve the welfare of the animals on site and support her in the future.”

Prada, say the RSPCA, is now on the road to recovery and is expected to be re-homed in the near future.