Dogs die after being rescued from horror puppy breeding farm in North Yorkshire

The RSPCA have released harrowing images of a cruel puppy breeding operation discovered on a pig farm near Selby.

The charity found 23 dogs, many in pig pens, at the farm in the village in North Duffield. 21 of the animals were puppies.

Men caught badger baiting with seriously injured dogs in East YorkshireJames Featon, of Skipton, has been banned from keeping dogs for commercial purposes after pleading guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at York Magistrates' Court.

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RSPCA and police officers visited the farm in October 2017.

One of the dogs rescued from the puppy farm

Four puppies later had to be put down as they were in such poor health.

Why Yorkshire has such a poor record for animal crueltySeveral were suffering from the canine disease parvovirus, which often spreads in unsanitary kennel environments, and others had collapsed.

Some of the dogs had been bought in Ireland before being sold to the public.

However, Mr Featon's sentence means he can still own dogs as pets as long as he is not involved in commercial breeding - and two were returned to his care.

Many of the rescued dogs are now available for adoption

RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who led the investigation, said:

"Some of the puppies were in very poor condition; thin and lethargic with swollen, distended abdomens. Three Jack Russell terrier puppies had collapsed.

"Police seized all of the dogs and we rushed them to the vets where a number of the pups were diagnosed with parvovirus - a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.

"They were all hospitalised and needed intensive veterinary treatment but, unfortunately, we lost four because they were so incredibly poorly.

"Eighteen dogs - including spaniels, lurchers and crossbreeds - pulled through and were taken in by our centres while the investigation was ongoing.

"Our investigations established that Mr Featon was buying in dogs from Ireland and elsewhere in England, and then selling them on to the public.

"However, he was keeping the dogs in disgusting conditions and had categorically failed to provide veterinary care to those that had fallen ill."

Featon was fined £130, ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £30 and was disqualified from dealing in dogs meaning he can own dogs as pets but isn’t to be involved in commercial activity involving dogs. The court returned two adult pet lurchers to him.

PC Sarah Ward of North Yorkshire Police said:

"I’m very pleased with the result and thankful that we found the puppies when we did, saving them from more suffering. They were kept in cold, damp conditions without their mums and most of them were very ill with a number needing urgent veterinary attention. Sadly, some didn't make it.

"We urge members of the public to only ever buy puppies from reputable dog breeders or adopt a rescue dog from a known charity. We see things like this all too often

"The dogs - which have all been in our care during the investigation - were signed over this week and can now be rehomed. They will be available after Christmas."