Dog breeder who kept dogs in ‘horrendous, dark, dank pens with no warm bedding’ is jailed for 16-weeks after RSPCA probe

Heart-breaking footage from inside a breeding farm shows the ‘inhumane’ conditions that puppies were forced to live.

Rocky Knight was jailed after RSPCA inspectors raided his home after complaints from seven dog owners who had bought puppies that later fell ill and died.

Some animals were found with breathing problems and no bedding, while inspectors also discovered the body of one puppy wrapped in a plastic bag.

Knight, 36, pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences at Bolton Magistrates’ Court and was given a 16-week jail term and disqualified from keeping animals for life. 

Inspectors found pug Phoebe living in ‘horrendous conditions in dark, dank and cold pens with no warm bedding’

During an earlier court appearance, Knight signed two-year-old Patsy (shown) and three-year-old Phoebe over to the RSPCA

Inspector Pippa Boyd, who led the RSPCA’s investigation, said: ‘We had complaints from members of the public who had bought sick puppies.

‘Most of which were Jack Russell terrier cross poodle pups. Tragically, seven of those puppies died.’

During a search of Knight’s home in Farnworth, Bolton, officers found two dogs – a pug and a dachshund-cross – being kept in makeshift pens in an outbuilding.

‘We found crossbreed Patsy and pug Phoebe living in horrendous conditions in dark, dank and cold pens with no warm bedding or dry areas off of the cold, hard floor,’ inspector Boyd explained. ‘It was a completely inhumane environment to keep dogs.

‘Thankfully, we got to them in time and removed them. They were incredibly itchy and Phoebe had serious breathing problems. 

‘Sadly, we were too late for some, including a little puppy whose body we found wrapped up in a plastic bag at the house.’

During a search of Knight’s home in Farnworth, Bolton, officers found two dogs – a pug and a dachshund-cross – being kept in makeshift pens in an outbuilding

Knight, 36, pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences at Bolton Magistrates’ Court and was given a 16-week jail term and disqualified from keeping animals for life

During an earlier court appearance, Knight signed two-year-old Patsy and three-year-old Phoebe over to the RSPCA.

The dogs,who are being cared for by staff at the charity’s Warrington branch, have already found new loving homes.

Inspector Boyd added: ‘Knight told buyers he would take the puppy to them to do a home check at the same time

‘People thought he really cared where his puppies were going. The reality is that he didn’t want people to know where he lived or to see the conditions he kept his dogs in.’

Knight advertised the dogs online and worked hard to pass himself off as a responsible, reputable breeder.

‘He offered to deliver puppies to new owners or arranged to meet them in car parks away from his home.

‘This should be a major flag to anybody looking into buying a puppy,’ inspector Boyd warned.