A WOMAN from Somerset has been banned from owning dogs for ten years after 16 dogs were rescued from neglect.

Judy Patricia Doolan of East Ride, Brent Knoll, Highbridge, Somerset received the disqualification order following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

Doolan kept sixteen dogs in an unattended property where some of the dogs were emaciated and had rotten teeth, dirty smelly coats, and overgrown nails.

A number of dogs were also found to be extremely aggressive and unsafe to handle because of extreme fear through their lack of socialisation.

In total, 16 dogs were seized by police, of which nine sadly had to be put to sleep because of the severity of their condition.  The remaining seven have been cared for by RSPCA and are thriving.  

Doolan, who appealed the sentence she’d been given in October 2023, after pleading guilty to two animal welfare offences, appeared before Bristol Crown Court on February 23 2024 for the result of appeal against sentence.

She was disqualified from keeping dogs for ten years, which she can not appeal for seven years, and fined £600.

The court heard how in March 2023, RSPCA Inspector Hayley Lawrence attended at Ms Doolan’s home following concerns about unattended dogs at the address, with reports the dogs had been left alone for a number of days.

On looking through the front door letter plate she could see that the property was very dirty inside with large  amounts of faeces covering the floor area which she said “looked and smelled horrendous”.  

Inspector Lawrence had concerns for Doolan’s wellbeing as well as for the dogs so she called her colleagues, police and a vet to attend. Dogs could be seen at the window but no food or water could be seen.

Police located Ms Doolan at a caravan site and returned to the address where she brought the dogs out individually to the front door for them to be checked  and recorded.  

On examination, many of the dogs were found to have severe matting – the matts on one dog were found to weigh 2.15kg. 

The vet describes observing that two rooms of the house had a large build up of faecal matter with the windows heavily soiled in faeces. Some of the dogs also had faecal soiling on their feet and coats.

In mitigation, it was said Ms Doolan had rescued dogs from Romania and had got out of her depth and had struggled with personal difficulties throughout her life. 

Inspector Lawerence said: “Our plea to all animal owners is to make sure they always receive care and treatment they need when they need it.

“Animals are completely reliant on their owners to ensure their needs are met and they are kept safe and healthy. Owning an animal is a privilege - and ensuring appropriate care is a key part of the responsibility we have towards them.”