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Cruelty charges after 99 St Bernard dogs were found abandoned

Collis, of Treen Close, Thrapston, pleaded guilty at Wellingborough Magistrates' Court.

She will be sentenced at the same court on 23 October.

The St Bernards were found abandoned in poor conditions at the kennels in December last year.

They have since been rehomed after a campaign by the RSPCA, which brought the case after being alerted to the condition of the dogs by members of the public.

The court was told that the St Bernards, ranging from nine weeks to eight-years-old, were being kept in kennels covered in urine and faeces.

There was no fresh food or water available for them and their coats were filthy and matted with faeces.

Nine puppies were kept in a separate pen with no food or water.

Eighty five of the dogs were suffering from medical problems such as abscesses, ulcerated skin, eye conditions and ear infections which had not been treated.

Many were emaciated, with three puppies so thin that their ribs were visible.

One dog was in such a poor condition that the vet had to put the dog down at the scene to stop him suffering further.

Vets concluded that most of the dogs had suffered from neglect for several weeks or months.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Kevin McCole told the court that, when the dogs were found, Collis was on holiday in Tenerife and the kennels were locked up and unstaffed.

Defence lawyer Daniel Simister said Collis's behaviour was "completely out of character".

He said: "She had bred dogs for the last 30 years or so and been involved with the Kennel Club for most of that time."

He said: "These problems come from her bankruptcy and lack of financial ability to cope with what she was doing."

Speaking outside court, RSPCA inspector Clint Davies said: "To show such a disregard for the basic needs of so many animals is unacceptable."