Published: 16:27, 25 November 2021
| Updated: 16:49, 25 November 2021
A father and son who kept dogs in "unacceptable conditions" and bragged on WhatsApp about using them for hunting have been banned from owning animals.
Danny King Senior, 42, and Danny King Junior, 22, were sentenced at Medway Magistrates' Court for multiple offences.
The trial went ahead in their absence and they were both found guilty for a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act.
Both were charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a black Poodle and failing in a duty of responsibility for the welfare of eight dogs between 2019 and 2020.
While King Jr was additionally charged with killing a badger in 2018.
RSPCA officers joined police to execute a warrant in March 2019, where a mobile phone was sezied as part of the investigation and revealed a "hunting" WhatsApp group between a number of people.
One of the people involved in the conversation was named as Danny King who also sent a video of two dogs attacking a badger and an audio message saying: "That’s what you call the all rounder… had a good bit of sport last night".
Another audio message referred to a dog "running and killing" a badger and a number of hare, while another audio recording referred to the injuries to the dog and badger.
On 29 January 2020, officers from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit joined Kent Police as they executed a warrant at a property in Ditton under the Protection of Badgers Act.
Eight dogs, including greyhounds and dachshunds, were found at the property and seized by police; one was extremely underweight, had matted fur, fur loss and poor teeth.
RSPCA inspector Jason Bowles, who assisted with the investigation, said: “The dogs were being kept in unacceptable conditions, living in cold, filthy kennels. None of the dogs had suitable, dry or comfy bedding to rest on and only one kennel had food or water.
“A number of dogs including lurchers, spaniels and a poodle type were seized by police and placed into our care.”
A phone number listed on a van parked on the drive matched up with the number assigned to 'Dannyking' from the WhatsApp chat.
Danny King Snr was given a three-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £750 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.
Danny King Jnr received a four-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Both men were disqualified from keeping animals, King Snr for 20 years and King Jnr for 10 years.
The dogs have all been rehomed.
A third person was given a suspended prison sentence in March 2021 having previously admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at Medway Magistrates’ Court.
She was handed a two-month jail term - suspended for 12 months - and ordered to complete an animal welfare rehabilitation programme, and disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years.