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Neath Port Talbot man sentenced after neglecting dogs and causing suffering

FIVE dogs were found to be suffering and others were in a poor environment.

A Gwaun Cae Gurwen man has been banned from keeping all animals for three years after causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs and for keeping dogs in a poor environment.

Geraint Ronald Woolcock, 44, of Beili Glas, Gwaun Cae Gurwen, Ammanford, appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 30. 

He pleaded not guilty to six offences under the Animal Welfare Act – but was ultimately found guilty of five of the offences.

Woolcock caused unnecessary suffering to two dogs by failing to provide them with timely and appropriate veterinary care for an eye condition, while his failure to provide vet care for skin and eye conditions caused four dogs to suffer. He also caused unnecessary suffering to another dog after not providing timely and appropriate vet care for difficulty in giving birth.

He also did not ensure that 15 dogs were provided with a suitable environment including space, light, heat, ventilation, appropriate bedding and/or which was hygienic, and didn’t provide a rabbit with a suitable environment. 

Woolcock was sentenced to community order for 12 months of 100 hours of unpaid work and was banned from keeping dogs for three years. He was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £114 victim surcharge. 

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben attended the address after receiving a call from South Wales Police.

He said he was shown four puppies who were found in a small small brick outbuilding attached to the house. “The puppies were kept on soiled newspaper, no bedding, the shed heavily smelt of urine and faeces with little ventilation, there was a bowl of dried food,” he said.

The dog’s were examined by the vet and he stated that the environment for the dog’s was unsuitable. 

A tan/black giant rabbit was seen by the vet who was said to be in a poor environment with a hutch too small with no bedding and a small amount of water. In the witness statement provided by the vet, he said that the hutch was so small “the rabbit struggled to turn around in the hutch.”

Four lurchers were found in “total darkness” in a shed that had water present and some clean shavings on the floor. While the vet added: “I was immediately struck by the smell of urine due in part to the number of animals in such a small area and the lack of ventilation.” 

While the dogs were in good bodily condition the housing was “completely inadequate size and lacked  light and ventilation”. 

Another shed contained three dog’s – two terrier type dogs and a Bedlington type dog – where the vet deemed that they were living in a poor environment.

Another shed was examined which contained dog runs inside and included very little natural light coming in. In the first run in the shed were three lurcher type dogs – water was present – but there was no bedding. 

In a second run there was a Dachshund type dog. There was no water and the dog had access to the rest of the shed where there were hazards including metal mesh.

In run three there was a spaniel type dog inside a metal puppy crate that was in labour, and there was a dead puppy beside her. There was no bedding for this dog and she was unsupervised. 

Inspector Keith said: “The vet said he needed to examine this spaniel straight away and she was carried outside into the daylight and placed on a blanket.”

Following an examination it was discovered that a puppy was stuck in the birthing canal and needed to be taken to a vet straight away. RSPCA rescue officer Ellie West who had arrived on site then took this dog for immediate attention. 

At sentencing the court made a deprivation order in relation to the dogs that were seized, transferring them into the RSPCA’s care. However, following sentencing an appeal has been lodged.