Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Animals neglected as owner flees

Beltwood House
The animals were running wild and unattended in the 3.5 acre estate

Scores of animals, including dogs, horses and peacocks, have been moved from a south-east London mansion after the owner fled to avoid sentencing.

Several people living near Beltwood House in Dulwich needed treatment after being attacked by some of the dogs which were were left to run wild.

Owner Tracy Thier was given an Asbo in 2007 banning her from keeping any animals.

She breached the Asbo last year and left the country soon afterwards.

She also refused to pay 50,000 costs to the council and was made bankrupt in January as a result.

Animal protection officers found up to 60 dogs, two peacocks and horses.

'Appalling case'

The animals at the 3.5 acre Grade II-listed property were neglected and in a poor shape when officers found them.

Councillor Paul Kyriacou, the council's executive member for community safety, said: "This is a really appalling case and one of the worst situations of animal abuse I've heard of since becoming a councillor.

A dog rescued from Beltwood House
Several residents were attacked by dogs at the mansion

"We will do everything in our powers to ensure this woman is brought to justice."

The animals have been rehoused at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the International League for the Protection of Horses.

The council said neighbours had complained about children and adults being chased and attacked by dogs, which included German Shepherds.

Residents had complained about dogs howling at night and causing accidents and delays as they wandered on to roads and rail tracks.

Ms Thier breached her Asbo in 2008 by keeping five dogs in Lambeth and left the country soon after.

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