Mum and daughter banned from keeping animals after dozens of dead guinea pigs found

A mum and daughter have been disqualified from keeping animals after a large number of dead guinea pigs were found at their home in Stoke-on-Trent.

36-year-old Tonya Haughton and Carmen Lyth, who is 18, both of Blakelow Road, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 11 guinea pigs and four rabbits at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

Haughton was given a lifetime disqualification order, a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year and was ordered to pay £300 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Lyth was disqualified from keeping animals for five years, was given a 18-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.

The court heard that the RSPCA was contacted by the council in April this year after a council employee became concerned about smells coming from a property in Trowbridge Crescent, where they were living at the time.

When an RSPCA inspector attended, she found 42 dead guinea pigs wrapped in puppy training pads in a hutch in the garden, and two bags of dead guinea pigs inside the house.

There were also emaciated rabbits in the garden, and the house was covered in faeces.

Overall, Haughton and Lyth had around 130 animals in the house.

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “There were four cages of guinea pigs in the living room and more guinea pigs kept outside in the garden. There were even more cages dotted around the house.

“We found a dead guinea pig inside the property and when we asked what happened, we were told that the guinea pig was dying that morning but that they hadn’t had time to deal with it.

“The conditions inside the house were shocking and the animals were in terrible states. The rabbits which we found in the garden were so thin that it was a surprise they were still alive.

“It really was such a shock to see animals being kept in this way. It is clear that the animals had been deteriorating for some time and it should never have got to this point.”

The RSPCA had 57 surviving animals signed over to them, who will be rehomed.

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