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24 June 2013, 15:41
Six people from Oxfordshire have been found guilty of animal cruelty charges - after a raid on a pet boarding centre near Abingdon.
The RSPCA is telling Heart animals at Crunchy’s, which was a registered charity, were left without food and water in shocking conditions.
Officers visited the centre in Faringdon Road, Longworth back in December 2011 and January 2012.
They rescued dozens of animals – but two dogs, a turkey and a chicken had to be put down because they were so ill.
Louise Russell, 22, Kirsty Russell, 20, Robert Russell, 25, Frederick Russell, 81 and Angela Russell, 44, all from Faringdon Road, Longworth, and Abigail McHugh, 21, from Pendennis Road, Swindon, were all found guilty today of animal neglect charges.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Kirsty Withnall investigated the case.
She said: “What we found at Faringdon Road were filthy, disgusting conditions where animals were being kept amongst all sorts of hazardous items without food and water.
“We visited as soon as we received complaints about the welfare of the animals and were shocked by what we found.
“Many of these animals had been entrusted to the care of the defendants by loving owners.
“Instead of the care promised, the animals were left in dirty, broken down buildings without vet treatment where it was needed or access to basic care.
“Anyone who sets themselves up as an establishment to look after animals has a duty to meet their needs and this duty was woefully neglected by the defendants.”
In his summary, District Judge Pattinson commended inspector Withnall and her team on their hard work during the investigation.
He added: “Crunchy’s was an animal disaster, a sea of mud and faeces containing shocking and dangerous hazards and in short a rescue centre from which animals needed to be rescued.”
The six people found guilty will be sentenced in August.