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Jailed and fined: a hoarder who left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home

Group of dogs in kitchen of Stoker's home
© Any Articles News - YouTube

A Northumberland resident was last week found guilty of animal cruelty after the RSPCA discovered 100 poorly dogs, cats and other pets at her home in Byrness.

By Nick Whittle, 17 Sep 2019

Lynn Stoker was fined £50,000 and handed a jail term of 21 weeks for offences that judge presiding Bernard Begley said were “particularly serious” and led to a “high level of suffering”, writes The Sun.

RSPCA investigation

Inspectors from the RSPCA visited Stoker’s home as part of their investigation of her treatment of the animals. When they finally were able to remove the animals by the order of the court the inspectors discovered dogs and cats in cramped cages without fresh water.

Some cages contained multiple animals, some even housing 10 dogs. Animals were discovered in other rooms and outside.

South East Northumberland Magistrates Court heard how almost every dog and cat on the premises had a disease or fracture. Some were poorly beyond treatment and were ordered by the court to be euthanized.

A video showing the moment the RSPCA entered the property is at the foot of this article.

The case

Mitigating, Stoker’s lawyer Paul Blanchard said his 62-year-old client suffered with, “The traits of a hoarder, which is a personality disorder.”

This wasn't a deliberate act,” he said. “It's a reckless act. She [Stoker] was not dealing with matters as she could have done, she closed her eyes to the reality of the situation.

It's fair to say circumstances had got beyond my client.”

The Case

Of her own reasons for keeping so many animals Stoker told the court she had intended to sell them. Between November 2017 and May 2018 she sold six dogs but realised any money she made “went back on the dogs”, reports The Sun.

According to Stoker each month she spent an average of £1,000 on food and treatments. She showed no remorse for her actions and denied all 11 charges against her.

Summing up Judge Begley said, “I really can't find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering - some animals were euthanised.

Stoker was fined £50,000, jailed for 21-weeks and disqualified from owning an animal for life.