Breeder Convicted Of Cruelty To 110 Dogs, Cats & Tortoises Loses Her Appeal

It was in September of 2019 when Lynn Stoker was convicted and sentenced to 21 weeks. She was found guilty of eleven charges of “causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal” and four counts of “failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs.” 

“There were a number of different breeds at the property – including chihuahuas, shih-tzu crosses, cockapoos, King Charles Spaniels, terrier crosses, poodles and bulldogs. There were so many of them that only a handful of them had names,” explained RSPCA Inspector Heidi Cleaver.

Cramped Cages
Image Credit: Northumbria Police / Facebook

Initially, RSPCA inspectors were called to her home to investigate a claim about a cat with a “weepy eye.” They were shocked when they found 110 animals, including dogs, cats, puppies, and tortoises living in abhorrent conditions. Videos show investigators walking through rooms filled with free-roaming animals along with small, overcrowded, filthy cages. All of the animals were suffering from the effects of neglect and most of them were in extremely poor health. 

“This was an incredibly distressing case that saw more than 100 animals neglected and made to live in horrific conditions. Some animals were found in dirty and dingy kennels, which were clearly overcrowded, and many did not have any access to water or food,” shared PC Peter Baker of the Northumbria Police.

Filled Cages
Image Credit: Screenshot / Youtube

Previously in 2017, Lynn was offered assistance including free vaccinations, neutering, health checks, and treatment for her many animals. Eleven dogs were immediately removed and rehomed. However, after five months, the situation remained the same. So, police were contacted by RSPCA, and a warrant allowed the authorities to investigate her property. 

“All the water bowls were empty or nearly empty. We continually filled and refilled water bowls during the day when we attended with the police and the dogs were seen to drink thirstily. The dogs were fed on left-overs from an army base-for example bacon, sausages etc- which are full of saturated fat, high in salt and not conducive to a healthy and balanced diet,” shared RSPCA Inspector Heidi Cleaver.

Following a trial, Lynn was found guilty of 15 animal welfare offenses, was sentenced to 21 weeks imprisonment, banned from keeping animals for life, and was ordered to pay £50,000 (or just over $69,000). Her sentencing and jail time were in September of 2019. But just recently in June of 2021, Lynn filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence.

After a two-week-long hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the judge ruled with the original decision. She lost her appeal and was ordered to pay an additional  £38,000 (or $52,740) in costs and fees.

Image Credit: Joan Smith / Facebook

“It is clear that Stoker showed a total disregard for the welfare of the animals in her care. There was urine and faeces all over the floor – she simply cannot be trusted to own animals,” stated PC Peter Baker of the Northumbria Police.

This also means that she remains banned from owning any animals for life, and that this ruling cannot be appealed for 15 years. Due to her recent appeal, the RSPCA still had a number of dogs in their care. But now that the case has concluded, they share that they are “delighted they can now re-home them.” 

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Featured Images: Joan Smith / Facebook & Northumbria Police / Facebook