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Crufts champ kept 300 animals in squalor

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Crufts champ kept 300 animals in squalor

Post  mara thon on Sat 23 Jul - 16:50

Courier..........Friday July 22 2011

A Crufts champion breeder has been banned from keeping animals for life after the RSPCA found 300 living in "filthy and horrible" squalor at her kennels.

Registered trainer Rachel Mortimore, 57, has scooped more than 40 prizes at the top dog show with her collection of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers "Tollers".

She was also a member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and charged owners 30 pounds an hour for one to one training sessions at her kennels. But when RSPCA officers inspected her premises they were horrified to discover hundreds of animals kept in "unbelievable" conditions.

They found 300 animals ranging from horses to chickens, including one of her prized dogs which was so neglected it had a hole in it's jaw.

A cat had an ulcer in it's eye.

Mortimore, who had been keeping animals for 25 years, admitted two counts of animal cruelty at Taunton Magistrates Court in Somerset yesterday.

Magistrates anned her from keeping animals for life and ordered that she complete 140 hours of community service. Speaking after the hearing, horrified RSPCA officer Claire Ryder described the suffering of the animals as "unbelievable". She said "This woman was supposed to love her dog and had it for 12 years and left it with a hole in it's face."

"The other animals were living in filthy horrible conditions". Mortimore charged owners 10 pounds per night to look after their dogs at her Foxdown kennels in Culmhead near Taunton. In the 2010 Crufts dog show she collected a handful of prizes, including first place in the Veteran Bitch category for Tollers, for her dog Foxdown Ambila.

Mortimore has been competing in Crufts since 2002 and has scooped gongs each years since then, totalling more than 40 over the eights years.

She also works as a dog breeder, selling puppies for 750 pounds and has the largest breeding kennel in the country for Tollers.

JPs heard how she had taken in too many rescue animals after owners kept bringing them to her as a result of the economic downturn.

Her lawyer said she was too kind hearted to turn any away and her premises became overstocked.

Mortimore who is to appeal against her ban refused to comment.

mara thon
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