Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17983
Classification: Hoarding
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Attorneys/Judges
Judge(s): Jill Watkins




Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010


Disposition: Convicted

Defendants/Suspects:
» Eric Buckley
» Doreen Buckley

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A couple are facing jail after admitting chronic neglect of two dozen animals kept in a squalid cellar at their three storey home.

Eric and Doreen Buckley, of Pontypridd, south Wales, were already deemed such a danger to animals they were banned for life from keeping any.

Now the serial animal welfare offenders, facing up to six months in jail, could be banned from even approaching strangers' pets.

The husband and wife were caught keeping a cat, 11 dogs, nine geese, a pony and two goats in a former Rhondda Valley pub.

But they had already been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years due to animal welfare breaches in 1993.

After more series breaches in 1995 both were banned from keeping all animals for life.

They couple appeared before magistrates in Kingston upon Thames, where they were living at the time, on both occasions.

Police and the RSPCA raided the couple's south Wales home last June only to find they had evacuated the whole menagerie over night.

The property, in High Street, Gilfach Goch, was in such a putrid condition it was regarded as proof of breaching animal welfare rules alone.

Buckley, 56, belatedly admitted all the charges against him today (May 27) on the eve of a trial at Pontypridd Magistrates' Court.

His wife, 46, failed to attend but had previously made full admissions of all charges through her lawyer.

Both were granted bail until June 17.

Shocked RSPCA officials found the couple's "stinking" home to be infested with animal feces.

At one point up to 13 dogs, retired racing greyhounds, had the run of the rambling three-story former pub, used by them as a toilet.

Most, however, were kept in a unlit cellar whose floor was almost an inch deep in animal waste.

A vet brought in to administer to the animals once they were located was forced to extract 34 rotting teeth from the mouth of one dog.

Despite being caught red-handed Buckley still refuses to sign over four dogs to the RSPCA, costing the charity thousands of pounds to look after them.

"The dogs can't be re-homed until they have been signed over to us and before the offenses had been proven, a court could not order them to be seized," said inspector Nicola Johnston.

Speaking after the brief hearing today she said she was initially amazed to find the house empty but neighbors quickly confirmed they had been present the night before.

It was soon found animals had been left with friends at short notice and the couple had decamped to a new address in Pontypridd.

Ms Johnston said: "I have never seen anything like it before in my life. Even before going inside the house you could sniff the air outside and realise something was wrong.

"Inside, it was beyond anything I have ever seen, or hope ever to see again."

She said things got worse when she tried to explore the empty unlit cellar.

"You stood there in complete blackness squishing and squashing underfoot as you walked. The air was stagnant and stinking. To think that somebody thought it was a fit place to keep animals was incredible."

She said three dogs in particular had to undergo comprehensive dental surgery as a result of their condition.

"The vet actually said in the case of one dog that it had the worst dental condition he had ever seen in his career. He was horrified.

"It was so bad when the dog's mouth opened the teeth moved about individually. To keep animals like that is completely unnecessary."

She said that when Buckley was approached about the conditions and asked why he kept to many, he answered: "Why not?"


Case Updates

An arrest warrant has been issued for a man convicted of animal cruelty, after he failed to appear for sentence.

Eric Buckley, 56, did not attend Pontypridd magistrates court on Friday.

Last month Buckley and his wife Doreen, 46, were convicted of animal cruelty, including keeping a pony, goats and geese in the cellar of their home.

An RSPCA inspector said it was "beyond anything" she had seen before.
Source: bbc.co.uk - Jun 17, 2011
Update posted on Jun 17, 2011 - 8:39AM 

References

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