Kent woman banned for keeping animal for life following raid on ‘disgusting’ puppy farm
A woman from Kent has been banned from keeping animals for life, fined £2000 and received a 20 month suspended prison sentence after the RSPCA raided her ‘disgusting’ puppy farm.
67 year old Janet Oxlade, was found with 18 cats and 38 dogs, all in utterly filthy crates and makeshift pens, both inside and outside her home.
The conditions in which the animals were kept were so horrific, an independent vet who was with the RSPCA during the raid, said they were some of the worse conditions he had ever witnessed. Dogs and cats were covered in faeces, living in filthy pens unable to get out of the mud and dirt. Their fur was so matted the vet described it as being like ‘armour plating’.
Complaints from buyers
The raid came after numerous complaints to the RSPCA from members of the public and buyers. Despite having received complaints for years about Janet Oxlade, the RSPCA said they never had enough evidence to act on them. However, in the run up to Christmas, after further complaints, the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit teamed up with the Metropolitan Police to execute a search warrant at the address.
Carroll Lamport, RSPCA inspector, explained further:
“In 2017, local inspectors dealt with a handful of calls and attended the property, but Ms Oxlade wouldn’t let us in. People became suspicious of her as they were never allowed outside of the living room of the home – which was kept in pristine condition – and couldn’t see the conditions the animals were being kept in.
‘Between the end of November and a few days before Christmas, we had six further complaints from the public relating to Basset Hounds, Dachshunds and a Boxer. Sadly, one of the Dachshunds died of parvovirus on Christmas Day.”
Sick, dying and deformed dogs
After searching the property, the true horror in which the animals were kept, became apparent. Pens and cages swimming in mud and faeces, with dogs in appalling states of health. Some dogs had eye and ear infections, severe dental disease and matted coats. One Newfoundland was discovered, unable to walk due to seriously deformed legs.
Carroll Lamport went on: “These dogs were living amongst absolute chaos. There was filth and mud everywhere and many of the animals had no access to water. Away from all this mayhem, the living room was kept in absolutely pristine condition. We suspect this is the room in which members of the public were invited to meet their new puppy in order to convince them that the dogs were raised in high-quality conditions.”
Suffering at ‘the highest level’
Magistrate Tim Fisher, who sentenced Oxlade, said the animals had endured suffering “at the highest level” which continued for a sustained period of time.
He went on: “This was for no other reason than so you could make money. You have come very close to going straight to prison.”
The dogs and cats seized from the address were taken by the RSPCA and will be rehomed.
Banned for life
While many will think a custodial sentence should have been handed out, thankfully Janet Oxlade will no longer be able to keep animals for the rest of her life. With the change in law also being introduced which will mean that puppy farmers can no longer sell via dealers or third parties, other puppy farmers like Oxlade, will find it increasingly difficult to get away with breeding and selling dogs in such abhorrent conditions.