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Dog breeder's ban upheld

A dog breeder who appealed against her conviction of cruelty charges has had her ban on keeping animals upheld.

Melanie King, who ran her business from Whents Farm, in Lower Road, Teynham, was found guilty of six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs in her care by Sittingbourne Magistrates in September last year.

The 56-year-old was banned from keeping animals for life, given a prison sentence of 140 days which was suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work and to pay £250 costs.

King appealed against her conviction at Maidstone Crown Court on January 13.

The ban was upheld but reduced to seven years.

One charge of failing to meet an animal's needs relating to a corgi called Hawkeye, was also dropped and she was ordered to pay an additional £100 costs.

When RSPCA inspectors, officers from Swale council and vets visited the farm in February 2009 they found 70 dogs of various breeds, some with untreated medical conditions, living in filthy and squalid kennels.

King, now of Station Road, Appledore, near Ashford, was previously sentenced to a lifetime ban on breeding dogs after she admitted 24 offences under section 1 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, following a case by Swale council.

RSPCA inspector Ray Bailey said: "We are glad that Melanie King's ban on keeping animals has been upheld."

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