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Couple banned from keeping animals after eight dogs found abandoned in ‘awful conditions’ in van

An elderly couple has been banned from keeping any animals for eight years after dogs were found to have been neglected and living in awful conditions in the back of a van.

The eight dogs of different breeds were found in the back of the vehicle full of excrement and food parked outside an address in Gringley-on-the-Hill, Bassetlaw, on 2 November 2021, belonging to Bryan and Georgina Riley.

Following visits by officers the RSPCA was contacted as officers feared for the pets’ safety, suspecting they may have been neglected.

After an order to clean up the dogs’ living area failed to come up to standard, Police Constable James Pickersgill and an RSPCA inspector returned to the address once again and discovered the dogs being kept in the rear of a van driven and owned by the Rileys.

Opening the doors they were met with dogs stood on top of mounds of excrement and materials. All were in desperate need of attention by a vet.

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Sadly a four-year-old French Bulldog, called Lola, had such a badly infected eyeball that it was beyond saving and had to be removed.

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Among the other dogs recovered was another French Bulldog, called Hugo, whose fur was thinning and he was suffering from scabs on his coat as well as a weeping sore on his back leg.

A Dachshund, called Iggy, was suffering from extensive hair loss and scabs on his coat.

While another French Bulldog, called Liberty, also had scabs on her coat and open sores on her face. Her collar was attached so tightly that her neck was sore and reddened.

Two Poodles, mother and daughter, Angel and Coco, had dirty matted coats. Another Dachshund, called Lady, had thinning fur and the coat of a Poodle, called Rosie, was matted with faeces and urine and she had sores around her eyes and an elbow.

All of the dogs have since been rehomed and are doing well.

Bryan Riley, aged 74, had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering – one of failing to provide veterinary care for three dogs who were suffering from skin disease and the other of failing to provide veterinary care for the injury to Lola’s eye. He also admitted to failing to ensure the needs of all eight dogs were met.

Wife Georgina, aged 70, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the needs of eight dogs were met.

They both appeared at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on Monday 13 June and were handed fines and disqualification notices banning them from keeping any kind of animal for eight years.

They were both fined a total of £1,000 and ordered to pay £909 in court costs. They are unable to appeal against the order prohibiting them from keeping animals for the next four years.

PC Pickersgill, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The conditions we found these dogs in was despicable. When myself and the RSPCA inspector opened the van doors we found the floor was filled deep with excrement, food and other material.

“To see animals being kept in this way was heartbreaking.

“None of the dogs appeared in good health so we took the vehicle back to the local police station where they were all checked over and it was decided all of them required a full check-up and treatment by a vet.

“I hope this case serves as a warning to other animal owners that we will work in partnership with the RSPCA to bring those neglecting animals or mistreating them to justice and I welcome the courts outcome in this case in issuing fines to the Rileys for their treatment of innocent animals.

“Being a police officer isn’t just about protecting people and making arrests, pets and animals become part of people’s families and we would never want to see any of them being mistreated so we will always work with our partners to get to the bottom of any reports made to us.

“I would like to thank the RSPCA for their assistance in this matter and I hope that the court sentence this investigation has attracted will make other owners more aware of the conditions that their pets are living in.

“We will often work with our partners at the RSPCA to ensure that animals including dogs are being taken care of and treated correctly but I would ask anyone who may have any concerns of any animals suspected of being neglected to get in touch.”

For more information on how to report cruelty or neglect towards animals click the below link:

Report cruelty, neglect or abuse to a dog or other animal | Nottinghamshire Police

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