Ipswich: Seven dogs, 13 cats and a fish found living in squalid conditions, court hears

A MAN who kept seven dogs, 13 cats and a fish in “unbelievably squalid” conditions is facing an uncertain future.

Ipswich magistrates told David Brown, of Bonny Crescent, Ipswich, all sentencing options remain open after hearing that one RSPCA inspector described it as his worst case in 20 years.

Brown admitted causing unnecessary suffering to seven dogs between May 24 and June 26. The 50-year-old also pleaded guilty to three counts of failing in the duty of a person responsible for animal welfare. These charges related to five golden retrievers, two spaniels, the cats and a fish.

When police, the RSPCA, borough council staff, a vet and a locksmith managed to break into Brown’s home they found the house, and the dogs covered in their own mess.

Prosecutor Hugh Rowland told the court Inspector Marc Niepold, of the RSPCA, said it was the worst case he had seen in two decades of service.

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The inspector went to Brown’s home on December 28 last year and gave him advice over the animals’ welfare. The visit came after a noise abatement notice was made against Brown by Ipswich Borough Council.

Inspector Niepold revisited the house in January but could not gain entry. Further visits ensued, but again entry could not be gained.

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On April 17 a complaint of neglect was made against Brown by a man who had gone to buy a puppy from him.

A warrant to obtain entry to the premises was given on June 26. The inspector, locksmith, vet, council staff and police got into the rear garden, which was covered in dog mess.

The locksmith managed to get into the property and Mr Rowland said the stench was described as “overpowering”, due to the dog mess inside the house.

Inside the house were the seven dogs, 13 cats, and a fish in a dirty tank without hardly any water.

The court was told there was no food out for the dogs, but there were approximately 200 large cans of dog food on the worktops of the kitchen.

The stench inside the property was so bad that it was difficult for people to remain inside. The court heard it was obvious the dogs had been confined for a considerable time. Mr Rowland said they had been kept in “unbelievably squalid conditions”.

The cats were also said to be distressed due to the conditions.

Brown told the RSPCA in interview that he was living in an apartment in town and his car had broken down, which meant he could not get home as often as he should have in order to look after his animals.

The case was adjourned until on September 11 for pre-sentence reports.

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