A greyhound trainer who kept his dogs in filthy, blood-stained kennels has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Wirral Borough Council removed 29 dogs from a farm in April 2009 after earlier warning trainer Ian Street about the welfare of his animals.
Many were infested with parasites, some had infected sores and others had broken tails, Wirral magistrates heard.
Street, who admitted 11 charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, was also banned from keeping animals for life.
Charity Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE), which assisted with the removal of the dogs, believes it is the first time a local council has used the act to rescue greyhounds.
The court heard that Street’s dogs were being kept in damaged, rusty and blood-stained wire kennels, a garden shed and a loose-run compound at the farm on Frankby Road.
A number of the greyhounds had severely damaged and bleeding tails, several with old breaks.
“ The court has seen fit to ensure that no other dogs will be subjected to thoughtless cruelty at the hands of Mr Street ” GRWE spokesperson.
The dogs had poor skin and coats that were caked in mud, urine and faeces. Most were displaying evidence of heavy flea, mite and worm infestations.
Street admitted 11 charges under Section 4 and Section 9 of the act, which covers the prevention of unnecessary suffering and an owner’s duty to ensure welfare.
He was jailed for four months, suspended for one year, ordered to pay £1,000 costs and banned from keeping animals for life.
Speaking after the sentencing on Monday, a spokesperson for GRWE said: “We are absolutely delighted with the sentence handed down to Mr Street today, and feel it shows due recognition of the neglect these dogs have endured.
“We hope it will encourage other councils to use their powers under the animal welfare act to remove racing greyhounds from unsuitable conditions in the future.
“We are delighted that the court has seen fit to ensure that no other dogs will be subjected to thoughtless cruelty at the hands of Mr Street.”