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Worthing dog neglect woman allowed to keep horses
An RSPCA inspector said he was “gobsmacked” after a woman who neglected her flea-ridden dogs has been allowed to keep her four horses.
Inspector Andrew Kirby spoke after 47-year-old Lesley Sinden appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Monday and admitted a string of offences.
Sinden, of Ash Acre Lane, Worthing, was visited by Insp Kirby in December 2012 after a member of the public spotted a kitten with an ulcerated eye in the town.
He said the poorly feline was traced back to Sinden, who was found to have ill-treated a number of her other pets.
These included dogs Henry, Jessica, Scamp and Milo, who were suffering from severe skin conditions, dental disease and ear trouble but had not been given any vet treatment.
The dogs, and two six-month-old kittens, were also covered in fleas, which were causing and exacerbating skin conditions.
Sinden admitted offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and was fined £500.
But she escaped with a £500 fine and a 12-month conditional discharge, meaning unless she reoffends within the next year, she will not face further punishment.
Insp Kirby, speaking outside court, said: “I am gobsmacked… this was long-standing suffering.
“And yet she only got a 12-month conditional discharge and was not disqualified from keeping animals.
“It was horrendous suffering. They must have been in such pain.
“The dogs also had to have a number of teeth removed.
“One dog was very underweight. He had a dark discharge in both ears, his claws were overgrown, had skin and dental disease and a severe flea infestation.”
Insp Kirby said that the dogs were taken into the RSPCA rescue centre at Patcham and re-homed.