Eastbourne man jailed for neglecting 36 dogs keeping them in filthy conditions

Credit: RSPCA

A man has been jailed for neglecting 36 dogs, keeping them in filthy conditions in a property in Eastbourne.

Christopher Mark Bennett, of St Phillips Avenue, Eastbourne, was sentenced at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Monday August 22 after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals.

The RSPCA was called to the property where they found several Yorkshire Terrier and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs.

Credit: RSPCA

The dogs were skinny with matted fur solid in faeces and living in filthy and extremely smelly conditions. One dog was found dead in the middle of the kitchen floor.

RSPCA Inspector Cora Peeters, said: “The property smelt very strongly of faeces and urine even through the mask I was wearing.

"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.

"The room was poorly lit but I could still tell a large number of these dogs were extremely underweight, their coats looked crusty and dreadlocked and the smell of urine and faeces was awful in the stuffy and airless room.”

The RSPCA and police took the dogs away from the property.

  • Credit: RSPCA

Inspector Peeters added: “The dogs, on the whole, were friendly but nervous and were barking excitedly.

"The smell was overpowering and the conditions were extremely poor and filthy with slippery floors and dirty walls splattered with muddy dog prints. I saw no evidence of food or water, just two filthy metal bowls against a mud encrusted wall.”

Bennett was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment and was disqualified from keeping all animals.

Gemma Brogan of St Phillips Avenue, Eastbourne, was sentenced to an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months after pleading guilty to similar charges. She was also banned from keeping all animals for five years.

The dogs, some who were pregnant and had puppies, were taken into the care of the RSPCA in Brighton, Kent and Surrey and were rehabilitated before being rehomed.