A man who let his two dogs live unattended in a faeces-strewn flat has been banned from keeping dogs for three years.

Chad Kemp ignored warnings by the RSPCA about the conditions at the property in Newton Aycliffe where wolfhounds Poppy and Marley were living.

At a sentencing hearing at Peterlee Magistrates Court on March 5, Kemp was banned from keeping animals for three years after admitting he had failed to meet his pets’ needs by providing them with a suitable environment. 

The Northern Echo: The dogs in the Newton Aycliffe flatThe dogs in the Newton Aycliffe flat (Image: RSPCA)

The court heard that RSPCA Inspectors Gemma Lynch and John Lawson had gone to the ground floor flat in Galpin Court on May 3 last year following reports that Poppy and Marley had been left unattended.

Tapes had previously been placed over the door lock on a previous visit to check if anyone was entering the property but these were still intact. 

In a written statement to the court, Inspector Lynch said: “We were informed that Mr Kemp had not been seen for some time. We returned with police and Mr Kemp was located. Strong advice was given to him in regards to not leaving the dogs unattended and to ensure they were not returned to the address until it was a suitable living area.

The Northern Echo: Dog faeces on the floor of the Aycliffe flatDog faeces on the floor of the Aycliffe flat (Image: RSPCA)

“Mr Kemp agreed and assured us he would take the dogs to his friends until the flat was cleaned and he removed the dogs while we were present.” 

In his evidence, Inspector Lawson described conditions inside the flat as ‘hazardous’ and noted there was medication within a reachable height of the dogs on the coffee table.

Three days later Inspector Lynch visited the flat again and spoke to someone there who knew Kemp. He told her the defendant had not returned to the address for days and that he was sitting outside because the smell of urine inside the property was giving him breathing difficulties.

The Northern Echo: The litter-strewn flat in County DurhamThe litter-strewn flat in County Durham (Image: RSPCA)

The inspector found it covered in rubbish and faeces and smelling strongly of ammonia.

Poppy and Marley were back living inside and seized by police.

Both dogs, who were described as being in a ‘lean’ condition, were taken to a vet to be checked over before being transferred to a private boarding facility to be looked after on behalf of the RSPCA. 

The Northern Echo: Inspectors found faeces and a strong smell of ammonia Inspectors found faeces and a strong smell of ammonia (Image: RSPCA)

A further visit to the flat was made by Inspector Lynch on May 25. Kemp was at home and was advised that an investigation was underway. He said he would consider signing the dogs over into RSPCA care, although this didn’t happen. 

The passageway and bathroom appeared to have been cleaned up, the court heard, but there were still dog faeces stuck to the floor in various areas and the living room was full of rubbish and unsuitable for animals to be living in.

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Repeated attempts were made to arrange an interview with Kemp in the months that followed but phone calls went unanswered and there was no reply at the property or at another address where he was said to be currently living, the court heard.

In mitigation, the court heard Kemp had been suffering from poor mental health. As well as the three-year ban on keeping animals - which does not include cockatiels - a deprivation order on the dogs was also imposed.       

Poppy and Marley are currently being cared for at the RSPCA’s York, Harrogate & District Branch rehoming centre and can now be rehomed by the charity.