Dog owner jailed for six months for leaving pets in squalid and dirty conditions

Peterlee Magistrates Court

A MAN has been jailed for six months and banned from keeping pets for life after being found guilty of a string of animal welfare offences.

Peter Hamilton-Smith, 65, was already banned from keeping animals when the latest allegations involving the welfare of eight dogs were uncovered when police were called to his home.

Hamilton-Smith was banned from keeping animals for five years in May 2012 after an RSPCA prosecution resulted in him being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a female Akita called ‘Crystal’ by failing to address the causes of her poor bodily condition and the dog was put to sleep.

Just months later in July, the RSPCA were called by the police and found five adult dogs and three puppies living in dirty and squalid conditions at his home.

The adult dogs all had ear mites and the puppies were underweight and had worms.

RSPCA inspector Kaye Smith said: “These dogs were in a terrible state. One of the adult dogs, the mother, and her three puppies were a real worry and were hospitalised overnight at the vets for observation.”

At Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, Hamilton-Smith was found guilty of contravening an order banning him from keeping animals for five years, failing to meet the needs of eight dogs by failing to ensure a suitable environment to live in, failing to meet the needs of the same dogs by failing to provide a suitable diet, failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease and causing unnecessary suffering to three Husky-type puppies by failing to provide necessary care and supervision to protect them.

Hamilton-Smith, of Sledmere Close, Peterlee, admitted living at the property, but denied all of the allegations.

The court heard that the dogs were not his and were owned by a number of other individuals.

In addition to the six months prison sentence and life ban from keeping animals, Hamilton-Smith was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine and to serve 60 further days in prison because he was already on a suspended sentence.

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