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‘Home alone‘ cockers rescued

FOURTEEN COCKER Spaniels have been rescued from a house where they had allegedly been kept in squalid conditions which probably led to the death of at least one puppy in a litter of eight.

On Saturday, January 19th, a Yorkshire-based cocker spaniel breeder/exhibitor was called to a house in a built-up area of Sheffield, owned by a couple who, it is understood, also breed and exhibit Cocker Spaniels.

The couple had gone abroad on holiday, leaving the dogs in the care of a friend. The friend had become increasingly concerned about the dogs’ health due to the terrible conditions in which they were kept and so had asked the Cocker Spaniel enthusiast for help. The enthusiast attended the property, accompanied by another breeder/exhibitor friend.

shocking state

According to those who visited the premises, the stench from the dogs’ faeces which were deposited all around the premises was overpowering.

A thorough search of the property revealed a bitch with eight puppies in a cage in a cupboard under the stairs. The bitch was allegedly in a ‘shocking state’, with a dirty, matted coat, the puppies were all undernourished and one of them was dead. The bitch was too weak to push the dead pup away from her and was also found to be too weak to stand. Four other dogs were found in a cage in the lounge and two others in a small cage in the kitchen.

The two breeders who attended the premises removed the dogs, and gave receipts to the dogs’ custodian.

One breeder took the bitch and her surviving seven puppies, whilst the remaining six dogs were taken into the care of the other. These were subsequently signed over into the official care of Cocker Spaniel Rescue and have been given veterinary treatment.

It is understood that the RSPCA is in the process of preparing a possible negligence case against the dogs’ owners, whilst other agencies have become involved on other matters unrelated to the dogs. Sheffield MP and Home Secretary David Blunkett has also been informed, as the local MP of the couple concerned.

Earlier this week, a BBC North film crew was making plans to film the dogs for a news item on the regional news programme Look North.