More than 30 dogs seized by RSPCA in cruelty case Storyful

Lynn Stoker, a resident of Northumberland, had over 100 dogs removed from her custody. The dogs faced cruelty and neglect under Stoker's care. Even though she had the option of surrendering the dogs she was unable to care for, she refused to do so. South East Northumberland Magistrates Court in Bedlington tried her and sentenced her to 21 weeks in jail, fined her £50k ($60k) and barred her from owning and breeding dogs for the next 15 years.

Stoker had started acquiring dogs to breed them as a business. However, she failed to sell the puppies. Even though she was unable to sell a number of puppies, she continued breeding her dogs constantly. The puppies she was unable to sell got added to the hoard of dogs she already had.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) had asked Stoker to surrender the dogs which she was unable to care for. Initially, Stoker agreed to surrender some of the dogs in her care. She slowly became hostile and unresponsive towards RSPCA. She believed that the RSPCA wanted to take and sell her dogs to profit themselves. This conspiracy theory prevented her from cooperating with the organisation.

Dogs rescued from squalid conditions
Dozens of dogs were found living in horrendous conditions at the property. RSPCA NSW/Facebook

When the RSPCA managed to get the permit to raid Stoker's house, the team was shocked to see the condition of the dogs. The pictures shared by the Daily Mail show multiple small dogs stuffed into cages which are stacked on top of each other. Some of the dogs which are not in the cages seem to be suffering as well.

RSPCA noted that the dogs did not have access to clean water. There were no records of veterinary visits. Many of the dogs showed obvious symptoms of diseases. Two dogs had broken jaws which did not receive any medical attention. RSPCA was forced to put down a few of the rescued dogs since they were in unrecoverable states.

During the trial, Stoker denied four counts of failing to ensure an animal's welfare, 11 counts of causing unnecessary suffering and refusing to surrender an animal to RSPCA. The District Judge Bernard Begley was appalled by the unremorseful attitude of Stoker. He sentenced her to 21 months in jail. Stoker also had to pay £50k ($60k) to cover the cost incurred by the RSPCA. The verdict also prevents Stoker from owning or breeding dogs for 15 years minimum.

Stoker's lawyer claimed that she suffered from a personality disorder and that she did not intentionally cause suffering to the dogs. As per the lawyer, Stoker was in denial of the severity of the situation.

Stoker managed to inflict cruelty upon the dogs which she was supposed to care for. The incident points at how harmful backyard breeding can be.