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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Sanctuary owner gets animal ban
cats in a cage
Kittens were among the animals that were neglected
The owner of a sanctuary who packed 129 birds, cats and guinea pigs into a shed has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Glynis Richardson, 54, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, was found guilty of 14 charges of animal cruelty and sentenced to 150 hours community service at Brighton magistrates court.

Richardson kept the animals, including pigeons, finches, quails, kittens and guinea pigs, in squalid conditions at her unofficial sanctuary in Woodingdean, East Sussex.

I am pleased she received a 10 year ban but I would like it to have been a life ban

Cora Moore
RSPCA inspector
She said she was treating the animals with homeopathic remedies but RSPCA inspectors who visited the sanctuary in August last year found the animals crammed into cages which were stacked from the floor to the ceiling.

Cora Moore, the RSPCA inspector who led the inquiry, said there was no evidence of any proper care at the sanctuary.

Afterwards she said: "The whole place was utterly filthy. I am pleased she received a 10 year ban but I would like it to have been a life ban."

James Herriot

The inspectors found guinea pigs suffering from mange and self-trauma with ulcerated wounds on their backs.

Three kittens had cat flu and were emaciated and 20 finches were kept in such a small cage they had begun plucking each other's feathers out.

A quail had a distended abdomen as a result of having an egg stuck in its ovary duct and a pigeon with a broken left leg was left untreated.

The court heard how Richardson had looked after animals since the age of seven or eight.

"This has left a huge gap in her life," Martin Cray, defending, said.

Richardson told the court how she had was good friends with James Herriot, real name Alf White, on whom the hit TV series All Creatures Great and Small was based.

She said: "We met when he was our vet and he asked me if I would be interested in helping wild animals. I looked on him as a teacher."

Richardson plans to appeal against her conviction.

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