Vet found ‘underweight’ dogs at Saxmundham woman’s home
PUBLISHED: 19:45 21 February 2016 | UPDATED: 22:58 21 February 2016
A Suffolk pensioner has been banned from keeping animals for six years after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals in her care.
Marylin Read, of Home Farm, Benhall, near Saxmundham, denied causing unnecessary suffering after 40 horses and 24 dogs were taken from her property last May. Five miniature Shetland ponies were also taken from a nearby field off Kiln Lane, also owned by Read.
However, on Thursday a district judge at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court found her guilty of 29 charges under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to 35 horses and 24 dogs as a court case which had spanned several months came to a close.
The prosecution case was brought on offences under Section 4 and Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act and included failure to investigate and address causes of weight loss, body condition and other various health issues of many of the animals, as well as failure to provide them with a suitable environment.
Read was cleared of four offences relating to four dogs and the RSPCA withdrew proceedings on four matters during the trial.
She received a conditional discharge and was banned for keeping animals for six years, suspended for three months to allow for the animals already present at her property to be rehomed.
She was also dealt a bill for £2,500 in court costs.
Giving evidence in the trial, which was predominantly held at Lowestoft Magistrates Court, veterinary surgeon Kerstin Politz said that a number of the dogs had been “depressed” and underweight and many were kept in kennels which were too small or contained dirty water bowls.
Expert witness for the prosecution Peter Green said Read’s property was “massively overstocked with ponies”, and that there was insufficient grazing and no provision of any exercise area.
The RSPCA declined to comment on the outcome of the case.