A MAN has been sent to prison for 26 weeks for the neglect and suffering of a number of animals while in breach of a disqualification order.

Nicholas John Low, aged 70 and of Ty Isoe, Maes Maelor, in Llandegla, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on July 18.

He had previously been found guilty following a trial of five offences under the Animal Welfare Act. 

They were that he caused unnecessary suffering to a yellow Labrador - who was found in an emaciated state. 

Another offence related to two puppies who were found dead. 

The third was in relation to a cat, who he had failed to provide veterinary treatment for a large polypoid affecting his ear.

Denbighshire Free Press: One of the pups at the location (RSPCA)One of the pups at the location (RSPCA) (Image: RSPCA)

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Another offence was that he failed to care for 11 dogs and puppies and a final offence was that he was keeping the animals - which included 11 dogs, three cats and a goose - in breach of a lifetime disqualification order. 

He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment each for three unnecessary suffering offences, 11 weeks imprisonment for failing to care for the dogs and 16 weeks for breach of ban. 

They will all run concurrently. 

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £154 to be paid within 28 days of release and was given an indefinite disqualification of keeping any animals.

In a witness statement, provided to the court by RSPCA inspector Rachael Davies, she described the location - which she first attended on November 11, 2022 - as a clearing in the forest where the ground was muddy and there was lots of rubbish and recycled plastics, tins, bikes, bike wheels, plastic bags and general waste lying around.

Denbighshire Free Press: Pictures taken during vet examinations (RSPCA)Pictures taken during vet examinations (RSPCA) (Image: RSPCA)

She said: “I could see an extremely skinny yellow Labrador type dog and white long haired German Shepherd type dog tethered to what I would describe as some sort of trailer.  

“The dogs had no access to any suitable shelter, there was a sodden cushion on the ground near the German Shepherd and lots of empty dirty metal bowls. 

"I could clearly see all of the ribs and hips on the Labrador, and could easily feel her spine, her teats were enlarged.”

In a caravan she found eight black and chocolate Labrador cross puppies who were “very small”. 

She said: “Inside the caravan were lots of old cabinets resting up against the sides, empty boxes and it was very dirty, not the type of environment where puppies should be kept as there were lots of places the puppies could potentially become trapped and it was very unsanitary. I did not see any food or water bowls inside the caravan.”

Inspector Davies spoke with Mr Low and advised him that the Labrador and the pups needed to be seen by a vet and that he needed to provide proper accommodation/kennels for the dogs but he was “disagreeable”.

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Denbighshire Free Press: A picture of the site (RSPCA)A picture of the site (RSPCA) (Image: RSPCA)

She also asked if she could take them to a vet, but he declined help.

She later returned with animal rescue officer Melanie Froude and once again asked if she would be able to take the dogs to the vets, but this was refused and she issued him with an Animal Welfare assessment warning notice.

It was soon discovered that Low had been disqualified from keeping all animals for life - and the officers for a third time that day attended the address. Mr Low said he had appealed the decision and declined to sign the animals over to the RSPCA. 

Inspector Davies then sought to obtain a police warrant with North Wales Police. 

In November a police warrant was issued and inspector Davies described the conditions as much the same “just wetter and colder”.

Inspector Davies spoke with Mr Low and advised him that the information she had received back from the courts confirmed that the ban on all animals was upheld during his appeal so still stands.

Three cats were found and “all appeared unkempt with dirty coats” with one of them appearing to be holding its head to the side. Two dead puppies were also found in a vehicle. 

In total 13 animals (plus two deceased pups) were removed and placed in the care of the RSPCA, with the two dead puppies sent away for a post mortem. 

In a vet statement provided to the court, it was stated that, “the preliminary post mortem for each of the puppies demonstrates that both were of poor body condition and suffering from high worm burdens; based on the findings thus far it is highly likely that these puppies starved to death.”

The 13 animals have been doing well in RSPCA with the Labrador and pups settling in well in foster homes. The animals will now be found forever homes.