A WOMAN has been fined £5,000 and has been banned from keeping pets after mistreating 11 dogs, six birds, a cat and a tortoise.

Heather Stanton, of Williton Road, Washford, was found guilty by Taunton Magistrates' Court on December 14.

The 60-year-old woman appeared before North Somerset Magistrates' Court on January 16 to hear her sentence.

District judge David Taylor ordered her to pay a fine of £5,000 and £85 costs, as well as issuing a community order which states she must carry out 80 hours of unpaid work by January 15 next year.

She has also been disqualified from owning dogs, cats, birds and tortoises for five years under the Animal Welfare Act.

Stanton was found to be guilty for the mistreatment of 11 dogs, including a sheepdog, a Jack Russell Terrier, Chinese Crested type dogs and Pomeranian type dogs.

The animals had a number of conditions including eye and skin infections which were not treated.

Stanton was also found guilty of causing 'unnecessary suffering' of a white lionhead rabbit by confining the animal to the detriment of its wellbeing, to which she pleaded not guilty.

Stanton pleaded not guilty of causing suffering to a white domestic cat but was again found to be guilty.

She also admitted to the mistreatment of a tortoise and six birds in her care.