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Illegal breeder banned for ‘stacking up’ pets


A WOMAN who crammed 59 dogs into her home to sell them illegally has been banned from keeping animals for life.

Johanna Price, 71, of Boscombe in Bournemouth, kept the dogs, six birds and a cat in cages ‘stacked-up’ in her lounge, bedroom, bathroom and shed.

A court heard that the Dorset woman was running a ‘puppy factory’ and sold some of them for up to £475 each but never allowed anyone into her home.

She was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and of breeding dogs without a licence.

Bournemouth Magistrates' Court heard last Wednesday that Price fed them scraps of food including a raw chicken carcass and leftovers from Chinese restaurants.

A customer reported Price when she saw her swing a dog by its paw. An RSPCA investigation followed and Price was prosecuted.

But she escaped a jail sentence and got a £100 fine because she was too ill to attend the hearing.

Price, 71, from Shelley Road, Boscombe, was convicted of 15 counts of animal cruelty and one count of illegal dog breeding.

One Yorkshire terrier was found with a wounded anus and a missing tail, and other dogs in the garden shed developed conjunctivitis from the urine-soaked atmosphere.

The RSPCA is now appealing for people to take in the pets, many of which are now at Ashley Heath Animal Centre.

RSPCA Inspector Jo Story, the investigating officer, said: ‘I have never seen this number of animals in these sorts of conditions.’

Mark Proctor, defending, said Price was in Christchurch Hospital, unable to speak or move anything but her hands, and there was no sign when she might recover.

She refused to sign over the dogs to the RSPCA.

Mr Proctor said: ‘I think to some degree this is the last thing she feels she has any control over.’
District Judge Ashworth decided not to adjourn sentencing until she might recover and attend court, even though this meant she could not be jailed. He said: ‘It seems unlikely sentence will be passed in anything other than her absence and there are a number of animals that can't be re-homed until the case is concluded.’

Judge Ashworth said of the £100 fine: ‘It's not a sentence that can properly reflect the merits of this serious case.’