Animal Ban For Cruelty Couple With 69 Pets

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A couple with five children who admitted cruelty after cramming 69 pets, including 56 dogs, into their home have been banned from keeping animals for eight years.

The RSPCA found the creatures living in squalid conditions when they raided James and Nicola Wood’s four-bedroom semi-detached house in Somerset.

As well as the dogs which included huskies, German shepherds, rottweilers and Staffordshire bull terriers, they also found three cats living in the bathroom, six birds, including love birds in various filthy cages, and four chinchillas.

Inspectors were “swamped by a sea of dogs” in the living room and “too many to count” in the back garden, Taunton magistrates court was told.

They also found the couple’s nine-month-old child in a bed that had sheets soiled with bird droppings.

Prosecutor Neil Scott said many of the animals were suffering from complaints affecting their eyes, teeth, ears and skin.

The court was also told that the children in the house were at risk of contracting disease from the animals.

“Every room was full of furniture. In the front room numerous pieces of furniture were piled on top of each other, with dog leads tied to various parts of the furniture,” Mr Scott said.

Ian Denley, defending Hood, 40, and his 32-year-old wife, said they thought of the house as an “animal sanctuary”.

He said they had taken in animals from friends and from people contacted on the internet which might otherwise have been put down.

The pair, of Queen’s Road in Minehead, admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and six of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals were met, at an earlier hearing.

When they returned to the magistrates court for sentencing, they were each also ordered to pay £250 costs, which will go towards the RSPCA animal charity, and given a two-year conditional discharge.

News link:- news.sky.com

THE TRUTH ABOUT ANIMAL HOARDERS

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THEY start off with one pet then another, and always with the best of intentions but what happens when a love of all creatures great and small becomes a cruel addiction?

The smell that hit the RSPCA welfare officers as they entered the four-bedroom house in Minehead, Somerset, was appalling. Finding 69 pets – including 56 dogs, six birds, three cats and four chinchillas – was a distressing but all too familiar experience for them.

Some people like to hoard cats

The collection belonged to James and Nicola hood, who later pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. The court heard that the family had been “swamped” by the creatures. Yet tellingly they thought of their house as a sanctuary where people who could no longer cope with pets could bring them to be looked after. Although their motives were almost certainly genuine the couple were misguided in the care they gave as many of the animals, particularly the dogs, were malnourished and underweight. Others had eye or ear infections.

The hoods’ behaviour is the latest example of a phenomenon known as “animal hoarding” which according to welfare experts is a big problem in many countries, most notably here and in the US. There, approximately 3,500 new cases are reported each year. Around 250,000 animals a year are cited as victims although many more cases go unreported.

Despite research on the subject being in its infancy, it’s a problem that is on the rise according to experts. And next month a TV documentary focusing on America will reveal just how serious an issue it is there.

One of the women featured is 53-year-old Nancy Drew, a retired solicitor who has no children. When her husband ed bought her two love birds, the birds began to reproduce and caring for them became the focus of her life. Within a few years however she had more than 200 flying free in her home. While caring for them and cleaning up after them was consuming the majority of the couple’s time and money, the birds were showing signs of severe stress by attacking each other and so in the end they had to be removed and taken to a sanctuary.

To read the rest of this post click here:- Express.co.uk

Couple with 69 animals in Somerset home admit cruelty

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A couple who kept 69 pets, including 56 large dogs, at their family home have admitted nine counts of animal cruelty.Dogs in yard

Nicola Hood, 31, and her husband James Hood, 40, kept the pets in their four-bedroom home in Queens Road, Minehead, Somerset.

Taunton magistrates heard that when RSPCA officers raided the property in October they were “swamped by a sea of dogs”.

The pair were released on bail and are due to be sentenced on 19 April.

Nicola and James Hood
The court heard the couple thought of the house as an “animal sanctuary

The court was told that the couple’s five children were at risk of contracting disease from the animals.

The pair had 56 dogs, including huskies, German shepherds, Rottweilers and Staffordshire bull terriers, three cats living in the bathroom, six birds, including love birds in dirty cages, and four chinchillas.

RSPCA officers found the couple’s nine-month-old baby in a bed with sheets soiled with bird droppings, magistrates heard.

Bad smell

The couple both admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and six of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals were met.

Prosecutor Neil Scott said that many of the animals had been suffering from complaints affecting their eyes, teeth, ears and skin, some of them for up to a year.

Neighbours complained of endless noise from the dogs and said the smell was so bad, it stopped them going in to their own gardens.

The couple kept the pets in their four-bedrooHome of Nicola and James Hoodm home

Ian Denley, representing the defendants, said the couple thought of the house as an “animal sanctuary”, taking in animals that might have otherwise been put down from friends and from people contacted through the internet.

“The majority of the animals in the house – the 56 dogs and the birds – were animals he [Mr Hood] took in when people had not been able to cope with them themselves,” he said.

“They effectively sought to look after the animals and have not been able to do that because of the sheer volume of animals they have taken in.”

Most of the dogs have been rehomed, with eight remaining at a centre at West Hatch.

Somerset County Council said it was made aware of the family and dealt with the issue of child safety with a satisfactory outcome

Post site:-BBC News – Couple live with 69 dogs & 5 Children

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