Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

250 Aninmals in Puppy Farm Horror; Abandoned Dogs Are Left to Eat Bodies of the Dead in Filthy Cages While Horse Starves in Its Stable

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

250 Aninmals in Puppy Farm Horror; Abandoned Dogs Are Left to Eat Bodies of the Dead in Filthy Cages While Horse Starves in Its Stable

Article excerpt

Byline: ELLEN WIDDUP;KIRAN RANDHAWA

TWO HUNDRED and fifty puppies and 37 kittens have been found in horrifying conditions at a pet breeding farm.

Animal welfare workers discovered the creatures crammed in plastic travel containers full of rubbish and filth in a shed at a house in Sussex.

Their fur had become matted and many had developed eye infections and tumours. Some had survived only by eating the bodies of those that had died.

A horse in an adjoining stable was caked in mud and had been tied up for 24 hours a day.

One rescue worker said she was stunned by "sheer horror". The discovery was made when the owner, an elderly woman, died of a stroke on Sunday at her home in the village of Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex. An anonymous call to the RSPCA requested that the pets be collected and rehomed.

Animal welfare officers from the London area including the Celia Hammond Trust in Lewisham, the Kit Wilson Trust, Samaritans now face the huge task of finding new homes for the creatures, which are receiving medical treatment.

Celia Hammond, who runs the animal trust, is caring for 86 of the puppies and 29 of the kittens.

She said: "We have been stunned by the sheer horror of the situation these animals were living in. You see some horrible things in this business but the way these dogs were being kept was just pure evil.

"There were three or four puppies crammed into each plastic box but the boxes were so full of excrement that the dogs had about four inches at the top in which to move about.

"The rubbish was so compacted that it had become like cement and the puppies were caked in it."

The owner was named today by neighbours as Elizabeth Stevens, 73, who they said had run the breeding farm from the outhouse in her garden for about 10 years. She had three sons. …

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