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A COUPLE from South Wales who kept bulldogs in appalling conditions - leading to five of them dying - have been sentenced.

Dominic Fouracre, 35, and Rachel Lewis, 44, kept the dogs in horrendous conditions, leading to the deaths of five of them.

In June last year, Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) received a complaint from Hope Rescue, a dog rescue and rehoming charity, regarding a litter of puppies that were taken to an address in Clive Road, Barry.

When animal wardens visited the property, accompanied by South Wales Police, the smell throughout the property was pungent, with dog faeces smeared over floors, walls and doors.

One room was being used to house three adult bulldogs, which were loose, and five puppies contained in a makeshift crate that was also covered in animal waste.

Three dog bowls were empty, one dog was witnessed eating dog faeces from the floor, while several had visual health issues.

A further four bulldog puppies were found in a whelping box upstairs.

The nine puppies and three adult dogs were all seized under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and taken for assessment by veterinary surgeons. 

Following assessments, it was established that the dogs were suffering from a wide variety of health conditions including poor coat quality, fractured teeth, hair loss and respiratory problems.

SRS, which carries out trading standards work in the Vale, Cardiff and Bridgend areas, brought the case against Fouracre and Lewis.

Barry And District News: The dogs had severe health problemsThe dogs had severe health problems (Image: Vale Council)

They both pleaded guilty to a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act at Cardiff Crown Court.

Fouracre was sentenced to 22 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, and undergo 10 days rehabilitation.

Lewis received a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and has to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and eight days of rehabilitation.

The defendants were told to pay costs of £4,000 each, while Fouracre was also made the subject of a disqualification order, banning him from keeping animals for eight years.

Hope Rescue operations manager, Sara Rosser, said: “It was clear from the outset that the dogs were in a dreadful state and, sadly, two had to be euthanised immediately.

"One dog was unable to extend her hind legs, had an eye condition, heart issues, and problems with her spine.

"The other had an anal prolapse that had been left for such a long time that it was necrotic.”

Cllr Ruba Sivagnanam, VOG cabinet member for community engagement, equalities and regulatory services, said: “This successful prosecution follows many months of careful investigative work by dedicated Animal Health and Welfare Officers and I’d like to thank those involved for their efforts.

“These dogs were kept in appalling conditions, causing them to develop serious health problems, issues that proved fatal in some cases."