A dog breeder who kept puppies in crates, without proper access to food, water or toys, has been jailed.
Emmanuel Paul, 37, originally from Rugby but now living in Manchester, was caught by RSPCA inspectors after a tip-off.
Warning: this story contains some distressing details and images.
Officers visited Paul’s flat in Cambridge Street, Rugby, and a second address several times in between September and November 2020.
Inspector Nichola Johnson found five cramped cat carriers containing starving puppies and no food in the flat.
An adult female dog found severely underweight and had fresh cuts which were thought to have been a result of a fight with another dog.
Shocking photos show the puppies were so malnourished the outlines of their ribs, hips and spines were showing through their skin.
Three puppies were also found in another crate and four in another which was stacked in the corner of a room.
One puppy was put down three days before the visit because of its poor condition. Paul claimed he could not afford to pay for treatment.
Paul was arrested and he admitted causing unnecessary cruelty to the dogs at Coventry Magistrates’ Court last week.
He has now been jailed for 22 weeks, banned from keeping animals for five years and must pay £2,000 in costs.
What did the RSPCA say?
Inspector Nichola Johnson told the court: “As soon as I entered the flat I could hear what sounded like a large number of puppies barking and squealing from what is the living area.
“The smell of ammonia in the property was extremely strong.
“There was a lot of noise coming from the kitchen area and a space next to it. All I could see was some sheets covering up something.
“I began removing the sheets to find in total two black crates and five cat carriers, all containing puppies.
“None of the accommodation had water or bedding provided and were completely devoid of any toys or environmental enrichment.
“I could clearly see three puppies in one crate which were bright and alert and in reasonable bodily condition.
“I could also see clearly into the second crate which contained four puppies, which I would class as reasonable bodily condition.
“I also uncovered five cat carriers each containing a single puppy which I could not see clearly at this point.”
Paul said he’d recently run out of food and hadn’t yet had a chance to go out and get more.
When the five younger puppies were let out of the carriers, Inspector Johnson said: “It was clear to see that they were all in very thin bodily condition.
“I could see the outline of their spines, ribs and hips as they moved around the flat.
“The puppies did appear bright and alert but seemed to be searching around for something.
“I asked Mr Paul to put down some water for them. As soon as the water was on the floor all the puppies began drinking and continued until it had all gone.”
Inspector Johnson confiscated the five younger puppies and they underwent urgent vet checks.
Inspector Johnson said: “It became apparent to me that Mr Paul had a history of presenting dogs and puppies to [vets] in varying degrees of veterinary need.
“Almost every time he took an animal for attention he was unable to afford the treatment or diagnostic procedures that the examining veterinary surgeon thought was necessary.”
The remaining dogs are currently being cared for by the RSPCA while they try and rehome them.