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article imageMan jailed for cruelty after animals kept in cellar

By Lynn Curwin     Jun 18, 2011 in Crime
Pontypridd - A man in Wales was sentenced to jail time and banned from owning animals for life for offenses including keeping a pony and goats in a dark and dirty cellar.
Eric Buckley, 56, was given a 12 week sentence when he appeared in Pontypridd Magistrates' Court.
In 1993, he and his wife Doreen had been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, and in 1995 they were banned from having animals for life. Despite this, they were found to have several animals in June 2010.
They had 11 dogs, nine geese, two goats, a pony, and a cat.
The couple was being evicted and were gone from the property when officials arrived, leaving the animals with a farmer - but the state of the building provided much information.
"There was afoul smell emanating from all the rooms and a pungent smell of urine and manure coming from the cellar," Wales Online quoted Geraint Richards, for the RSPCA, as telling the court.
He added that an RSPCA inspector who went into the cellar found feces "so deep it was practically up to the knees of the wellingtons she was wearing."
The BBC reported that the dogs were suffering from flea infestations, ear infections and oral problems. One dog had to have all but four of her teeth removed.
"I have never seen anything like it before in my life. Even before going inside the house you could sniff the air outside and realise something was wrong," quoted RSPCA inspector Nicola Johnston as saying.
"Inside, it was beyond anything I have ever seen, or hope ever to see again."
She said that the dirt underneath her feet squished as she walked in the cellar, and the air was "stagnant and stinking."
Those who lived nearby said Buckley didn't hide the animals; with some animals being outside and dogs howling at night.
“They were worse than the neighbours from hell and everyone on our street feels the same," Alison Jenkins, a former neighbour of the Buckleys told the Pontypridd Observer.
“The state of the house was beyond belief, you could smell it from a mile away.
“People would cross the road if they were passing by, to get away from the stink coming from the front door."
She said there were a party and barbecue to celebrate when they left.
The couple was convicted of animal cruelty in May. Doreen Buckly, 46, had her sentencing adjourned for a week after she was taken to hospital with chest pains.
A video showing the cellar and some of the animals can be seen on the BBC website.
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