Squalid conditions animals were forced to live in at rescue centre

Shocking images reveal squalid conditions animals were forced to live in at charity rescue centre as owner is sentenced to eight months in jail after admitting animal cruelty charges

  • Shocking pictures reveal the squalid conditions at a charity animal rescue centre
  • RSPCA raided the Little Meadow Animal Rescue Centre in Tenbury Wells, Worcs.
  • Animals including an alpaca and a squirrel were living in faeces-covered cages  
  • Graham Stephens was sentenced to jail for eight months, launched an instant appeal to his sentence and was released on bail
  • WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES

Graham Stephens, owner of Little Meadow Animal Rescue

Shocking pictures have laid bare the squalid conditions at a charity rescue centre where some animals were forced to live in faeces-covered cages with little food and water – as its owner is convicted for a string of cruelty charges.

Graham Stephens, 62, admitted failing to care for owls, dogs, rabbits, donkeys and an alpaca which were kept in cramped and filthy environments.

A court heard RSPCA inspectors raided the Little Meadow Animal Rescue Centre, a registered charity in Tenbury Wells, Worcs., in January when the appalling conditions were discovered. 

Photos taken show the property’s wooden floor almost completely covered in droppings with animals kept in small metal cages – while Stephens accepted public donations.

Animals including an alpaca, a squirrel and four tawny owls, were living in faeces-covered cages and with little food or water.

Several filthy dog beds can also be seen packed into a dirty corner along with numerous empty food and water bowls in the images. 

Conditions the animals were kept in at Little Meadow Animal Rescue in Tenbury Wells, Worcs.

Stephens, 62, admitted failing to care for owls, dogs, rabbits, donkeys and an alpaca which were kept in cramped and filthy environments

One cage, marked ‘Pen 2’, had two rabbits stuffed inside it in a space suitable for hamsters while a matted owl was rescued from a tiny budgie cage.

Stephens had accepted funding from the public to look after the animals but was arrested.

RSPCA officers also found many of the animals were suffering with bad teeth, had lice and were riddled with infections.

Stephens, who had run the charity for 12 years, previously admitted six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Worcester Magistrates’ Court.

He also pleaded guilty to two charges of failing the duty of a person responsible for an animal to ensure welfare.

Animals including an alpaca, a squirrel and four tawny owls, were living in faeces-covered cages and with little food or water

An animal sanctuary boss was sentenced to jail for keeping animals in horrendous conditions

A cage marked Pen 2 had two rabbits stuffed inside it in a space suitable for hamsters

Stephens was sentenced to jail for eight months on December 9 and banned from keeping animals for life

Stephens had accepted funding from the public to look after the animals but was arrested and charged 

Shocking conditions the animals were kept in at the rescue centre which was raided 

Prosecutor Lynda Myer said the RSPCA acted following ‘multiple complaints’ from members of the public and they found the animals in ‘appalling’ conditions

Stephens was sentenced to jail for eight months at the same court on December 9 and banned from keeping animals for life.

Prosecutor Lynda Myer said the RSPCA acted following ‘multiple complaints’ from members of the public and they found the animals in ‘appalling’ conditions.

She said: ‘The conditions were appalling.

‘There were signs significant stress was caused to the animals living in a small area.

‘He was entrusted with money from the public to look after these animals.’

Sarah Brady, defending, said Stephens, of Bromyard, Herefordshire, had been suffering from depression and stress while trying to run the charity.

She added: ‘He has run the charity for 12 years. In 2021 he should have sought help.

‘He didn’t because of what was going on in his personal life. He regrets that now.’

At the end of the hearing Stephens launched an instant appeal to his jail sentence and walked free from court.

He was released on conditional bail and a date for his appeal is yet to be set.

Source: Read Full Article