AN AMBLESTON man has been banned from keeping dogs for life and handed a suspended 24-week jail sentence after he failed to care for 25 Labradors, allowing them to suffer unnecessary and live in a “filthy and hazardous” environment.

The dogs and puppies were denied access to food and water, and were in danger of injury and disease, David Thomas, aged 74, of Wallis, Ambleston, appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court yesterday, January 14, and pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences.

The court heard Thomas failed to provide a suitable environment for 25 dogs, caused unnecessary suffering to five puppies by failing to explore their poor conditions, and caused unnecessary suffering to five dogs by failing to give them appropriate veterinary care for an infection involving their feet.

The dogs - found on the derelict farm - were 19 puppies and six adults.

One puppy was sadly found dead.

The 25 dogs were removed and given immediate treatment.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “When I arrived I just remember thinking what an appalling situation this was. It was dire. These dogs and puppies were kept in filthy and hazardous conditions. They were denied access to food and water, were in danger of injury and disease, and did not have the necessary comfort in terms of shelter and bedding, and were not free to exhibit normal behaviour, by being kept in the dark with poor ventilation.

“The puppies looked thin, dehydrated and were cold, and there was evidence of caked faeces on all the puppies’ feet, and all their claws were overgrown.

“It was just horrible and just so sad to see these lovely puppies in just terrible conditions.”

The dogs were taken into the care of the local authorities for rehoming.

Inspector Hogben added: “We’d like to thank everyone who assisted in this case - the police, the local dog wardens, the local vet and Green Acres Animal Rescue.

“We really appreciate all their help in what was a challenging case, due to the numbers of dogs there.

“These dogs and puppies will now grow up in a loving, safe environment where they are given the care and attention they deserve.”

Magistrates handed Thomas a 24-week custodial sentence - suspended for two years.

He was ordered to pay £300 costs and a £115 victim surcharge and was banned from keeping dogs for life.