At first glance, it seemed that everything was A-okay in the home of the 67-year-old Janet Oxlade, but the reality was far more depressing.
Every time the woman had visitors in her home, she wouldn’t let anyone see parts of her house and only allowed them to stay in the living room.
The woman worked as a breeder, and her customers quickly became wary of her suspicious behavior.
The home – or at least, the living room – was very clean and spotless, which made the customers wonder even more why they weren’t allowed to see any other part of the house.
However, as you can imagine, it’s pretty hard to figure out exactly what was going on, and with little to no evidence, the woman didn’t have to let anyone see the rest of the home.
When more complaints started to come in, animal welfare inspectors decided to pay her a visit anyway.
“We’d had a number of complaints over recent years about this address but never had enough evidence to act on,” inspector Carroll Lamport with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wrote. “In 2017, local inspectors dealt with a handful of calls and attended the property, but Ms. Oxlade wouldn’t let us in.”
They couldn’t do anything at first, but because the situation started to become more and more severe, they finally had enough reason to get a search warrant. Even more customers filed complaints with the RSPCA and it was evident that something fishy was going on.
Local police came to the woman’s home with a warrant in hand and raided the entire property.
What they found beyond the living room was absolutely disgusting.
Police inspectors found around forty dogs and just under twenty cats at the relatively small home, and none of them were taken care of properly. In fact, you could say that their living conditions were downright despicable.
The woman used small rabbit cages to keep a bunch of cats in, barely giving them enough room to breathe. The situation for the pups wasn’t any better: they were ‘stored’ in crates and extremely small pens. Aside from their living conditions, their health was absolutely disastrous as well.
Practically all of them were severely malnourished, filthy to the point where it became dangerous and most were plagued with severe medical issues. They barely received food, but even worse is that they practically didn’t have access to clean water as well.
“There’s filth and mud everywhere and the dogs couldn’t get out of the dirt at all,” Cliff Harrison of the RSPCA recalls. “It’s absolutely disgusting. It’s utterly disgraceful to keep animals in these conditions.”
The rest of the home was in sharp contrast with her spotless living room.
The woman met her clients there and introduced them to the pets, but most people had no idea what was going on in the rest of the home.
“These dogs were living amongst absolute chaos … and many of the animals had no access to water,” RSPCA inspector Carroll. “Away from all of this mayhem, the living room was kept in absolutely pristine condition. We suspect this is the room in which members of the public were invited to meet their new puppy in order to convince them that the dogs were raised in high-quality conditions. The truth of what lay beyond that living room door was far from the image [she] painted to the public.”
Every single animal was rescued and received medical treatment right away.
Some of these pets were in a much worse shape than others. For example, one pup was so malnourished that caused his legs to deform and prevented him from walking properly. Others were plagued with eye infections, critical dental issues, and other medical problems.
However, every one of the pups and cats is doing much better right now, and have either found a loving forever home or are ready to be adopted.
As for the woman, she pleaded guilty.
The judge rightfully sentenced her to a prison sentence of twenty weeks along with a serious fine and has also given her a lifelong ban on housing animals.
Thankfully, this horrible case of animal neglect and cruelty was properly taken care of, and all the affected animals can now start a new and happier chapter in their lives.
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