Man banned from keeping animals for life after dogs found in appalling conditions

A man has been banned from keeping animals for life after his dogs were found being kept in poor conditions.

Gordon Clarke was visited by the RSPCA and Sussex Police where officers found 16 dogs and two cats suffering from infections and dental disease.

He had previously pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act, related to 15 dogs, at an earlier court hearing.

He was given an 18-week prison sentence - suspended for 12 months - and disqualified from keeping all animals for life.

He was also ordered to complete 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay costs and a victim surcharge of £278.

RSPCA officers visited a property in Crawley on 6 April after concerns were raised about the welfare of a large number of animals living at the home.

They were all rehomed successfully by the charity except for one spaniel who, sadly, despite veterinary treatment and lots of time, had to be put to sleep. 

The chihuahuas, rottweilers and some cats were being kept in the front room and upstairs, while the five spaniels were in a small, bare and dirty back room.

Inspector Tony Woodley, who led the investigation, said in his witness statement: "The interior of the house was dimly lit. The 'living room' area with a sofa and very large TV was accessible by the cats, rottweilers and chihuahuas. There were food and water bowls in this area.

"This area had a strong smell and the walls and floor were stained with either faeces or dirt or a mixture of the two. There was a human bed in this area with a mattress. The mattress was stained brown and there were blankets on it which were also brown and covered in faeces or mud. The floor had concrete missing in places and two dogs were cowering in the area where a draw was missing from a wooden chest of drawers. There were no water or food bowls in this area. In this area I saw packs of dog food but this was not accessible to the dogs.

"I was alarmed by the condition of many of these animals and there seemed to be a general lack of care for these animals. The spaniels looked like they had been roughly de-matted with a sharp implement and some of these dogs had open wounds."

The vet found many of the dogs were suffering from ear infections, skin disease, conjunctivitis, and dental disease.

Two of the spaniels were considered, by the vet, to be in a 'severe condition' including a female brown spaniel, called Betty (TW17) who was rushed to vets for emergency treatment.