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Welsh Family Convicted of Cruelty for Keeping More Than 100 Animals in Home

Thanks to icWales for this article. Family found guilty of cruelty to 36 animals Robin Turner, Western Mail A COUPLE and their teenage son, who...

Joy  |  Dec 20th 2006


Thanks to icWales for this article.

Family found guilty of cruelty to 36 animals
Robin Turner, Western Mail

A COUPLE and their teenage son, who kept more than 100 animals in their three-bedroom council home, were found guilty of cruelty to cats and dogs yesterday.

As well as looking after their three younger children, 56-year-old Glyndwr and 50-year-old Margaret Jones, with their 19-year-old son Michael, tried to run an unofficial “animal centre” at their semi-detached home in Gorseinon, Swansea.

But district judge Richard Williams QC, sitting at the city’s magistrates’ court, said they went far beyond their “limited abilities” to look after so many animals.

Environmental health and housing officials called to the house said the stench of cat urine hit them well before they reached the front door of the property, which they visited in October last year.

Inside, the smell in the faeces- littered home stung their eyes and vets found the pungent atmosphere had caused conjunctivitis in many of the animals.

The RSPCA rounded up around 100 animals, including dogs, cats, gerbils, ferrets, tortoises, tarantula spiders and one fish.

At the city’s magistrates’ court this week the three Joneses denied three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to 14 of the dogs and 22 of the cats on the grounds of not feeding them properly, not giving them enough space and failing to provide veterinary care.

They were cleared yesterday of failing to provide veterinary care but convicted of the other two charges.

Michael Jones’s parents were also convicted of breaching a disqualification order imposed four years ago when a similar animal collection was built up at the same house.

On that occasion, RSPCA officials found 56 cats, 23 gerbils, 22 rabbits, 20 snakes, 10 tarantulas, 10 hamsters, nine ferrets, five lizards, four mice, three rats and a dog.

They were found guilty in 2002 of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and banned from keeping more than a small number of pets.

At their trial this week Glyndwr Jones and his wife claimed their “enthusiastic” son was solely in charge of the animals apart from a single cat, a cross Persian called Smokey, which was Mrs Jones’s pet.

But the district judge said as tenants of Swansea Council and parents the two “senior defendants must have had control over what came into the house”.

Michael Jones told the court he rescued kittens, pups and other animals and claimed recognised bodies such as the RSPCA would not take them in.

Describing himself as “on the sick” and a former residential home care worker, he said he loved animals more than humans because he had been bullied at school.

He added he once paid a 1,500 vet’s bill for medical aid for a kitten which had been abandoned on a motorway.

The Joneses will be sentenced in January, Judge Williams saying he needed to see pre-sentence reports first.

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