A man has been banned from keeping animals after his dogs were left without food or water in ‘appalling’ conditions.
The 36 animals were rescued from a filthy home in Eastbourne, Kent last year.
One small dog died as a result of the ordeal and those that survived were dangerously underweight, dirty and scared.
RSPCA Inspector Cora Peeters, who found the neglected animals, said: ‘When we opened the door, the noise level trebled and was quite unbearable.
‘We were greeted by a sea of little faces all standing on top of each other in desperation to get to the door.
‘A large number of these dogs were extremely underweight, their coats looked crusty and dreadlocked.’
The rancid home had housed a mix of Yorkshire Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Border Collies.
It was described as a ‘nightmare’ by rescuers.
Inspector Peeters added: ‘The property smelt very strongly of faeces and urine even through the mask I was wearing.
‘The smell was overpowering and the conditions were extremely poor and filthy with slippery floors and dirty walls splattered with muddy dog prints.’
The animals’ owner, Christopher Mark Bennett, was jailed for for 18 weeks and banned from ever keeping pets again after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to his animals and ignoring their needs.
Another woman, Gemma Brogan who admitted similar charges was sentenced earlier this year to an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.
She was also banned from keeping animals for five years and must carry out 100 hours unpaid work.
Along with this, she was ordered to pay costs of £418.80 and an extra £128 victim surcharge, as well as to do 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
With help from the police, the RSPCA rescued all 36 dogs, some of which were pregnant and had puppies.
They were taken into RSPCA care in Brighton, Kent and Surrey where they were rehabilitated and rehomed.
After vet examinations it became clear that some had serious health issues. Many had overgrown claws, gingivitis, alopecia and one was suffering from a tumour.
Others had periodontal disease, which is caused by infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. This can cause pain and distress and can lead to heart and kidney disease.
One Yorkshire Terrier was especially malnourished, weighing just 2.15kgs. An average male yorkie should weigh around 3.1kg-4.6kg.
The vet report said: ‘It is my opinion that the majority of dogs suffered as a result of the conditions in which they were being kept.
‘All those dogs with a condition score of two or less were, in my opinion, suffering as they were too thin. Dogs with a condition score of three were likely to suffer if left at the premises.’
Despite finding refuge, many of these dogs will continuing suffering as a result of their horrific treatment.
The vet reported: ‘The period of suffering would vary for each dog but I would estimate it to be from four to 12 weeks.’
Inspector Peeters said: ‘This was a sad case involving a large number of dogs who sadly had been neglected, left in their own filth, and left to suffer.’
She added: ‘I’m glad that we could rescue these dogs and they are now getting the care and love they deserve.’
The RSPCA report that around 129 pets are abandoned daily in England and Wales.
This is an increase from 104 last year. With the cost of living crisis, they suspect this number could continue to rise.
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