May 8, 2009

Three months jail for illegal pet store

A British man convicted of operating an illegal pet shop with more than 1,000 animals in his home was sentenced to three months in jail.

John Ord Clark, 42, was convicted by magistrates in Oldham, England, of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, nine counts of improperly looking after animals and one charge of keeping an unlicensed pet shop, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided Clark's home July 21 and July 30, 2008, and found tanks filled with boa constrictors, geckos, tortoises and other reptiles stacked to the ceiling. Dogs, parrots, chickens and rats were also seized from the home.

It was impossible to count all the animals but I would estimate there were more than 1,000, RSPCA Inspector Catherine Burns said. The dogs were living in appalling conditions. Their pen was cramped and full of feces which was splashing on to their coats.

In addition to the jail sentence, Clark was banned from keeping any animals in his home for five years. He was previously convicted in 2003 of possessing two caiman crocodiles without a license and causing unnecessary suffering to a tortoise.