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  1. ITV Report

Vet and assistant found guilty of neglect after animals found 'living in squalor' in cellar

A vet and his assistant have been found guilty of neglect after police found 12 husky dogs living in squalor under a trap door in the cellar of the surgery.

Gary James Cassius Samuel, 49, and Rochelle McEwan, 28, worked at Armley Vets, in Leeds.

Police who were called to the surgery in relation to another matter, contacted the RSPCA after becoming concerned about the condition of the animals there.

In total, 22 dogs and eight cats were rescued by the charity.

One cat, who had collapsed, had to be put to sleep on site, and a dog was put to sleep the following day, in both cases on veterinary advice to end their suffering.

Three further dogs have had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice.

The animals were found in cages in the basement

You think you’ve seen it all in this job and then you get a call like this.

Police attended on another matter and found the animals in cages in a back room, the vet’s living quarters and a basement, accessed by a trap door that had been covered by carpet.

That’s where most of the dogs were found - living in cages in a pitch black dungeon. It was filthy, there was faeces everywhere, and they had no access to food or water.

Most of the cats were shut in one room, which was also covered with excrement.

– RSPCA Inspector Nikki Cheetham

All the dogs were Husky-types, including several puppies, with the exception of two Chinese Crested dogs.

Since being rescued, 21 animals - 15 dogs and 6 cats - have been happily rehomed from RSPCA rehoming centres and branches in County Durham, York, Liverpool, Chester, Leeds and Harrogate.

The animals were found in squalid conditions

The condition of these animals and the way in which they were being kept was appalling.

This situation was made even more shocking when you consider that those people responsible are in a position of trust. People who work in the veterinary profession are the first port of call if an animal needs help.

It is unthinkable to consider what was going on in this surgery as clients were coming and going, paying their vet fees.

– RSPCA inspector Nikki Cheetham
The dogs has no access to food or water

Both defendants were found guilty of all charges and will be sentenced at a later date.