Bryan and Georgina Riley, of Gringley-on-the-Hill, near Bawtry, both received eight-year bans from keeping animals after an RSPCA investigation.
One of their animals, a French Bulldog named Lola, had to undergo surgery to have her eye removed due to a severe infection caused by the severe neglect.
The abuse came to light after RSPCA officers, assisted by police, visited the couple’s house in November 2021.
It was here the couple then drove off in a transit van after they were asked to open up the back of the vehicle, from which dogs could be heard crying and whining.
They were soon apprehended and the dogs were rescued from the van, and their condition was assessed at Harworth Police Station.
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.”
Among the animals kept inside was a four-year-old French bulldog, called Lola, whose eyeball was so badly infected it was damaged beyond repair, while three of the other dogs were suffering from severe skin conditions. A vet later stated the condition would have taken at least four months to develop.
In his witness statement to the police, 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.”
Bryan Riley, 75, and Georgina Riley, 70, pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering; one for 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.
A vet said that most of the dogs were in various states of malnutrition and their bodies were covered in scabs and lesions from an infestation of fleas or mange.
In mitigation, the court was told the defendants, who both suffer from physical ill health, were left with a large number of dogs they had struggled to cope with and they were keeping them outside in the van because their property had been a target for burglars.
Their solicitor added they “were out of their depth and not deliberately cruel”.
But the magistrates said there was “clear evidence” that the pair had been reluctant to engage with the RSPCA.
The couple were made to pay fines totaling £1,000, as well as with victim surcharges, amounting to £909.
All the dogs were signed over into the care of the RSPCA and have since been rehomed in the local area.