By Bonnie Estridge
The smell that hit the RSPCA welfare officers as they entered the four-bedroom house in Minehead, Somerset, was appalling. Finding 69 pets – including 56 dogs, six birds, three cats and four chinchillas – was a distressing but all too familiar experience for them.
The collection belonged to James and Nicola hood, who later pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. The court heard that the family had been “swamped” by the creatures. Yet tellingly they thought of their house as a sanctuary where people who could no longer cope with pets could bring them to be looked after. Although their motives were almost certainly genuine the couple were misguided in the care they gave as many of the animals, particularly
the dogs, were malnourished and underweight. Others had eye or ear infections.
THEY start off with one pet then another, and always with the best of intentions but what happens when a love of all creatures great and small becomes a cruel addiction?..." More