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Sussex dog breeder faces jail leaving puppies to die
A dog breeder faces prison for dumping two litters of newborn puppies in suitcases and leaving them to die.
RSPCA inspectors found 15 dead and dying animals under the stairs of Amanda Cheadle’s farmhouse.
She had kept them in cases stacked on top of one another, causing the collie-cross dogs’ starvation, dehydration and suffocation.
Cheadle, 58, of Bell Lane, Fletching, near Uckfield, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the collie-cross dogs at Lewes Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
She failed to turn up to the sentencing and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Cheadle walked out before the hearing started on Monday, telling magistrates: “These are trivial and extraordinarily minor offences.”
But magistrates said her offending fell within “the highest level of seriousness” and indicated she faces jail.
Inspectors were informed about the squalid conditions by a member of the public.
They found 16 adult dogs and 10 puppies in a double garage with limited natural light, limited ventilation and hazards such as an armchair with springs protruding.
The court was told that food and water bowls were placed on top of compacted faeces and appeared contaminated.
Inspectors also noted there was nowhere for the dogs to rest or sleep.
In a cupboard under the stairs, RSPCA staff found two suitcases containing 15 puppies, some dead and some still alive.
One contained four puppies, one of which was already dead.
The other case contained 11 puppies, four of which had died.
Video footage shown at court showed staff trying to warm up the cold puppies using the heat of a nearby Aga.
Despite efforts to revive the seven live puppies, two had to be put down at the property. Another was put down at an animal shelter.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Bell said: "These poor puppies were quite simply left to die in these suitcases. It was deliberate cruelty.”
Cheadle denied causing unnecessary suffering between August 2008 and February this year.
But the court found her guilty of causing unnecessary suffering, keeping dogs in unsuitable conditions and of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a kitten.