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Linton pair guilty of dog cruelty

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A man and woman from Linton have both been found guilty of offences relating to animal welfare law.

Gary Vivers, 63 years, and Gillian Clark, 61 years, of Cedar Grove, Linton received fines and costs totalling £4, 816.

Vivers, who pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the needs of the animals were met, was also sentenced to ten weeks imprisonment suspended for eighteen months, rehabilitation orders and was disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Clarke, was found guilty after trial on offences involving the unnecessary suffering of the dogs, but not guilty of the lesser offence of failing to ensure the needs of the animals were met. She was also disqualified from keeping animals for two years.

In August 2021 a complaint was made to the Council that there were several dogs being kept in kennels at a property on Cedar Grove which were constantly barking, that the premises was smelling strongly of urine and that there were overall concerns as to the conditions in which the dogs were being kept.

Council officers visited later that day and observed that there were numerous kennels in the garden of the property containing seven dogs.

The kennels contained large accumulations of dog faeces, smelled strongly of urine and were in a poor structural condition with potential physical risks of harm. Some of the dogs had severe matting of their fur and appeared to be in a poor physical and emotional condition.

Council officers decided that the welfare conditions were so poor that they needed to make the very exceptional use of animal welfare powers to take immediate possession of the dogs which were taken into the care of a local dog kennels.

The dogs were examined by a vet the following day who gave the opinion that the dogs had been neglected over a long period of time and agreed that the dogs needed to be taken into possession to prevent suffering.

An eighth dog was later removed from the property in September 2021.

In sentencing the Magistrates said: “The evidence seen and heard had been disturbing and distressing”, it was further said in relation to Vivers, that, “he had been responsible for prolonged neglect and that he had caused the dogs a high level of suffering.”

Councillor Stephen Taylor, Chair of the Council’s Environment and Development Service Committee said: “This was a case which required swift intervention by Council officers to prevent further neglect of these animals. Thankfully, all of the dogs have now been found new homes where they will be given the love, care and attention they need.

“The Councils intervention required a lot of time and persistence by our enforcement officers as well as significant costs in caring for the dogs before the case came to trial. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to recover at least some of the cost and that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences.”  

13 January 2023

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