June 21, 2022 7.00 pm This story is over 24 months old

Eight dogs left in back of filthy van as one needs eye removed

Two people have been sentenced in court

By Local Democracy Reporter

Two people have been prosecuted after gross negligence of eight dogs which resulted in one French bulldog needing its eye removed due to filthy conditions.

Bryan and Georgina Riley were subjects of an RSPCA investigation after the animal welfare charity followed up an earlier visit to their home at Gringley-on-the-Hill – around six miles from Gainsborough – in November last year.

The pair were asked to comply with an assessment notice following the previous RSPCA visit, and when inspector Daniel Bradshaw returned with a police officer the couple drove off in a transit van after they were asked to open up the back of the vehicle.

The dogs were all clearly badly affected. | Photo: RSPCA

They were later apprehended and eight dogs were removed from the back of the van, with their conditions assessed at Harworth Police Station – and the results were shocking.

The eight dogs were left in the back of a stinking, faeces-strewn van, and among them was a four-year-old French bulldog called Lola, whose eyeball was so badly infected it was damaged beyond repair.

The conditions of the van were appalling. | Photo: RSPCA

Three of the other dogs suffered from severe skin conditions as a result of the disgusting state they were left in by Bryan and Georgina.

Another French bulldog called Hugo, had thinning fur and scabs on his coat, as well as a weeping sore, while a dachshund called Iggy suffered from extensive hairloss and scabs to the coat.

Liberty the French bulldog had open sores on her face and her collar was attached so tightly that her neck was reddened.

Breaks your heart to see. | Photo: RSPCA

Two poodles, mother and daughter by the name of Angel and Coco, had dirty matted coats. Lady the dachshund, had thinning fur and poodle Rosie’s coat was matted with faeces and urine.

All the dogs were taken to the vets but the worst affected was Lola, whose prolapsed eye was so badly swollen that the only course of action was to remove it.

Most of the dogs were in various states of malnutrition and their bodies were covered in scabs from a flea infestation.

Thankfully they have all been rehomed by the RSPCA. | Photo: RSPCA

Bryan Riley, 75, and Georgina Riley, 70, both of High Street, Gringley-on-the-Hill, appeared at Doncaster Magistrates Court on Monday, June 13 for sentencing.

At an earlier hearing Bryan pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering; one of failing to provide veterinary care for three dogs who were suffering from skin disease and the other of failing to provide veterinary care for the injury to Lola’s eye. He also admitted a third offence of failing to ensure the needs of all eight dogs were met.

Georgina Riley pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to ensure the needs of the eight dogs were met. They both were met with eight-year bans from keeping animals, while Bryan was fined £750 and ordered to pay combined costs and a victim surcharge of £475.

Georgina was also fined £250 and told to pay combined costs and a victim surcharge of £434. All the dogs were signed over to the RSPCA and have since been rehomed.

In mitigation, the court was told that the defendants suffer from physical ill health and were left with a number of dogs they had struggled to cope with, and were keeping them in the van because their property had become a target for burglars.

In his witness statement, RSPCA Inspector Daniel Bradshaw said: “Lola’s eyeball was hanging out and appeared to have a large scab that was oozing blood and pus and appeared to have faeces stuck to it. She had scabs and sores in her coat as well as a skin condition.”

The inspector said of the van: “There was such a strong smell of faeces, urine and ammonia that I struggled to put my head inside for more than two seconds.”

Speaking after the court hearing, Inspector Bradshaw said: “Lola’s eye was very infected and to leave a dog with her eye hanging out like that was unacceptable, as was leaving all the dogs in such a poor environment in the back of a van from which urine and faeces was just seeping out.”