Rebecca Perkins, a greyhound trainer with 17 years of experience, 36 weeks imprisonment He was also banned from keeping animals for life after pleading guilty to three counts of animal welfare violations related to the treatment of 38 greyhounds.
Ms. Perkins’ treatment of the dog caught the attention of the RSPCA. British Greyhound Board GBGB, the official racing regulator, launched an investigation into the matter after an unannounced raid last September on the premises where Perkins kept his dogs.
When the GBGB area manager arrived at the farm, he saw a black greyhound lying in a small plastic portable kennel. The dog was described as struggling to get out of its kennel, in a “disgraceful condition” and “thin, emaciated and barely able to walk.” A severely underweight greyhound was also found in the stable block, as well as the skeleton of a small dog that had been there for some time.
When Perkins got home, the caretaker had him open the main block of the kennel. He later reported that the foul odor in the kennel “quickly made me feel sick” as the floor of the kennel was strewn with excrement. The dogs in the kennel were in a shocking condition, “many of them extremely thin,” he said. Four more dead dogs were also found on the farm.
After being contacted by GBGB, RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell and Animal Protection Officer (ARO) Daniel Richardson visited the farm. Mitchell later said: “All the kennels in this kennel wing were heavily soiled with faeces and urine, as was the greyhound bedding.
“The odor of the (main) kennel block was intense and almost unbearable.”
ARO Richardson said in a witness statement: There was also a living dog in the kennel with the deceased dog.
“Most of the dogs were very thin and some could not stand up. One in particular had a badly injured front leg.I noticed that several kennels contained dead dogs that were decomposing in various stages.”
Perkins signed to hand the dogs over to the RSPCA, but it was too late to help some of them. One greyhound died before being taken to a veterinarian for treatment, and three more were put to sleep in a welfare facility within days.
An independent veterinarian told the court: “I was shown a number of pictures showing how all the dogs lived, but the living areas were so dirty that they had to follow good practice. They would say the needs of the dogs were not being met.”
“In my opinion, all 37 dogs suffered from multiple problems for at least two weeks, possibly weeks, possibly months,” he added.
Perkins admitted he had caused 37 greyhounds to suffer unnecessarily by failing to secure veterinary care for illness. She also acknowledged that she had plagued three greyhounds by consistently neglecting veterinary care to address her lameness and sores. And she failed to provide a suitable and sanitary environment for her 35 greyhounds. She cited her recent health concerns and financial problems.
Mr. Perkins was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison each for causing unnecessary suffering to a greyhound, for a total of 36 weeks in prison, which will be served consecutively. She was sentenced to an additional 12 weeks in prison for greyhound unsuitable environments, a sentence that will run concurrently.
Perkins was sentenced to life imprisonment and banned from keeping all animals for life, and was ordered to pay a victim’s penalty of £187. She may not be able to appeal the 10-year animal ban.
All of the surviving dogs thrived in the care of the RSPCA, and now the RSPCA is working to tame them all.
Image by RSPCA