Dogs and cats rescued from 'disgusting' Bexleyheath backyard breeder
PUBLISHED: 07:21 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 07:21 16 August 2018
A Bexleyheath woman has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping 38 dogs and 18 cats in filthy makeshift pens in her back garden and inside her home.
Janet Oxlade, of Grazeley Close, was sentenced at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday August 15 to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.
She was also disqualified from keeping all animals for life and was ordered to pay £2,000 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
At a previous court hearing she pleaded guilty to 10 offences under the Animal Welfare Act for failing to meet the needs of 38 dogs and 18 cats, and causing unnecessary suffering to a number of dogs by failing to seek veterinary treatment for a number of ailments.
The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit joined Metropolitan Police to execute a warrant at the Bexleyheath property in January after a flurry of calls from concerned members of the public who had bought puppies from the address in the run-up to Christmas.
RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport, who investigated, said: “We’d had a number of complaints over recent years about this address but never had enough evidence to act on.
“In 2017, local inspectors dealt with a handful of calls and attended the property but Ms Oxlade wouldn’t let us in.
“People became suspicious of her as they were never allowed outside of the living room of the home - which was kept in pristine condition - and couldn’t see the conditions the animals were being kept in.
“Between the end of November and a few days before Christmas we had six further complaints from the public relating to Basset hounds, dachshunds and a boxer.
“Sadly, one of the dachshunds died of parvovirus on Christmas day.”
Officers raided the property and seized 38 dogs and 18 cats all of which were being kept in makeshift runs in the garden or crates inside the house.
Pedigree cats and fashionable dog breeds - such as Newfoundlands, dachshunds, French bulldogs and shih tzus - were removed along with a number of pups.
The dogs were placed into RSPCA care.
One Newfoundland was found with seriously deformed legs and couldn’t walk while many of the dogs were covered in mud, faeces and their coats were matted with dirt.
Some of the dogs had severe dental disease, some with docked tails and many had nasty eye infections or ears clogged with built-up hair and wax. An independent vet who joined officers on the raid to check all of the animals said it was some of the worst conditions he’d ever seen.
He described the matted filth in their coats like ‘armour-plating’.