Burton Fleming greyhound trainer jailed over dogs' suffering

Burton Fleming greyhound trainer jailed over dogs' suffering

A greyhound trainer who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to more than 30 dogs has been jailed and banned from keeping animals for life.

Rebecca Perkins, 42, of Hunmanby Road, Burton Fleming, near Driffield, admitted three offences under the Animal Welfare Act on 27 June.

Concerns were raised by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) following an inspection of her kennels in 2022.

Appearing at Scarborough Magistrates' Court, she was jailed for 36 weeks.

Welfare issues at Perkins' farm emerged after a GBGB steward, whose duties include inspecting kennels, made the unannounced visit last September.

He said he saw a black greyhound lying inside a small plastic portable kennel, which he described as being in a "disgraceful condition" and being "so thin and emaciated" the dog "could hardly walk".

Several thin, very underweight greyhounds were also found in stable blocks along with the skeleton of a small dog.

A further four dead dogs were also found at various locations.

The inspector notified the RSPCA, and Insp Claire Mitchell and animal rescue officer Daniel Richardson attended.

Insp Mitchell said every kennel was "heavily soiled" as was the dogs' bedding.

"The smell in the (main) kennel block was overpowering and almost unbearable," she said.

The RSPCA said a brindle greyhound died before receiving treatment, two further greyhounds were euthanised on the day on veterinary advice and a further dog was put down several days later.

The charity said the surviving dogs have done well and were in the process of being rehomed.

Magistrates' were told Perkins had been a greyhound trainer with 17 years experience and in mitigation, she had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and also cited a recent health scare and financial issues.

Perkins admitted causing 37 greyhounds to suffer unnecessarily due to failing to secure veterinary attention, and also admitted causing three of the greyhounds to suffer after failing to ensure vet care to address lameness and sores, and to failing to provide a suitable, hygienic environment for 35 of the greyhounds.

She was given an 18-week custodial sentence for each of the offences concerning the greyhounds suffering unnecessarily, which will run consecutively.

She was given a further 12-week term for the offence concerning the greyhounds' unsuitable environment, which will run concurrently.

Perkins was also ordered to pay a £187 victim surcharge and told she could not appeal against her ban on keeping animals for 10 years.

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