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Dog show community shocked as Crufts judges ordered to close ‘hellhole’ kennels

Cruft judges hellhole kennels dog-angry
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A court described the living conditions at the dog kennels as being like a hellhole. And when you hear what animal welfare inspectors found, you'll understand why.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 17/02/2020, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:32


Animal welfare inspectors discovered dogs living in appalling, filthy and squalid conditions during a spot-check of kennels owned by a pair of experienced Cruft judges.

Shocking discovery

When a council investigation conducted an investigation at the dog kennels in Blymhill on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border, they found dogs being forced to sleep on dirty, wet bedding and dog faeces covering some of the outside runs.

The dogs didn't even have clean water to drink as inspectors found water bowls either empty or overturned. 

Lucknow Farm Kennels is owned by Fiona and Raymond Scholes. The couple have been judges at Crufts and a number of other Kennel Club competitions.

Appalling conditions

Magistrates in Newcastle-under-Lyme heard the investigation by South Staffordshire Council investigation revealed that while the dogs' paperwork was out of date, the kitchen area where the dogs would have been prepared was filthy and in urgent need of repair. Bags of food were even left open to rot.

The couple were found guilty and fined £5,482 for as many as eight breaches of their kennels license. They had already been warned three times in 2018 to improve the standards at the kennels. But the pair showed no regard for animal welfare, the court was told.

Not surprisingly, the pair will not be judging at Crufts or any Kennel Club shows this year.

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