Manchester

Bolton breeder kept dogs in 'horrendous' conditions

Phoebe the pug was found by the RSPCA Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Dogs were found living in makeshift pens in an outbuilding in the rear garden of a property

A breeder who kept puppies in "horrendous" conditions has been jailed for 16 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life.

Rocky Knight, 36, of Farnworth, Bolton, pleaded guilty at Bolton Magistrates' Court to three animal welfare offences.

The RSPCA launched an investigation into puppy sales in Bolton in 2016 after complaints from people who had bought sick animals.

Eight complaints were received and seven of the puppies involved died.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA said Knight did not want people to see the conditions in which his dogs were kept

The RSPCA worked alongside the police who executed three warrants in the Bolton area.

During one search, a pug and a dachshund-cross were found kept in makeshift pens in an outbuilding in the rear garden of a property.

RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd said the dogs were "living in horrendous conditions" with no warm bedding or dry areas.

"It was a completely inhumane environment to keep dogs," she said.

The two dogs were removed and later signed over to the RSPCA. The body of a puppy was found wrapped in a plastic bag at the house.

'Thought he cared'

Knight offered to deliver dogs to their new homes or meet the owners in car parks, the RSPCA said.

"Knight told buyers he would take the puppy to them to do a home check at the same time," Ms Boyd said.

"People thought he really cared where his puppies were going.

"The reality is that he didn't want people to know where he lived or to see the conditions he kept his dogs in."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Patsy (l) and Phoebe have new homes lined up

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