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Stacy Humphrys and Maria Lee plead guilty to Animal Welfare Act crimes after discovery of 85 dogs in West Meadows, Ipswich




A dog which was among 85 discovered at a travellers site in Ipswich was kept in such poor conditions that it had to have its eye removed, a court has heard.

Stacy Humphrys and Maria Lee, both of West Meadows where the dogs were found during a 10-hour police operation on March 20, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court today.

Humphrys, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a disqualification from keeping animals and one count of failing to ensure the welfare of animals, namely 67 dogs, chickens, parrots, a finch and a cockatiel.

Some of the dogs which were discovered in the former couple's home.
Some of the dogs which were discovered in the former couple's home.

Lee, 47, pleaded guilty to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and one count of failing to ensure the welfare of animals, namely 67 dogs. A seventh charge of aiding and abetting a person banned from keeping animals was withdrawn.

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting, told the court that, of the 85 dogs found at the former couple's address, 67 were said to have belonged to Miss Lee.

He said that when police and an RSPCA inspector attended the property, they had found animals in various different crates, kennels and rabbit hutches.

In one of the containers, inspectors found a cocker spaniel with a 'cherry eye' which occurs when a tear duct becomes inflamed.

Police raided a site in West Meadows, Ipswich. Picture: Google
Police raided a site in West Meadows, Ipswich. Picture: Google

"If treated early, this wouldn't affect the eye itself," said Mr Petchey.

"But this had gone on to the eye ball itself and caused the eye to die. A surgery was then required to remove the left eye."

Another dog was found to have an 'overgrown and matted coat' which, when cut away, exposed infections in both of the dog's ears.

It also had BOAS, which is a condition affecting a dog's respiratory system, and gastrointestinal issues - both of which, he told the court, had been exacerbated by the conditions in which the dog was kept.

Mr Petchey said that puppies were discovered in crates in which faeces were present and in which they had no access to food or water.

"Inside a kennel of a reasonable size they also found French Bulldog puppies, which were all acting unresponsive," he said.

Stacy Humphrys and Maria Lee pleaded guilty to all charges against them at Suffolk Magistrates' Court
Stacy Humphrys and Maria Lee pleaded guilty to all charges against them at Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Other French Bulldog puppies, he said, were found in a 'cramped environment' which was 'dirty with soiled newspaper inside'.

"To the bottom right hand side of one crate, they found five extremely young puppies which just about had their eyes open," he said.

"They were maybe two to three weeks old but had no adult mother there with them. They had a heat lamp which was switched on."

Magistrates were told that an adult German Shepherd, which was found with pink, shiny and hot ears, was discovered 'basically swimming in a pool of dog faeces'.

The dog, said Mr Petchey, could access a disused lorry trailer but the inspector felt the rope to which it was tied would prevent the dog from being able to lie down.

Mr Petchey told the court a vet had determined that the German Shepherd would not be able to survive in a kennel environment.

He added that the back of the property was found to be flooded with 'dirty water which had a strong smell of ammonia'.

"This is beyond ill treatment or neglect," Mr Petchley said.

"Clearly there was serious harm or a high level of suffering caused to these animals."

Presiding magistrate Anne Walker adjourned sentencing until next month to allow for pre-sentence reports to be carried out.

Both defendants were released on conditional bail.

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