A WEYMOUTH woman who kept a menagerie of pets in ‘squalid’ conditions has been banned from keeping cats and dogs for five years.

RSPCA officials and police found mounds of animal excrement three feet deep when they were called to the home of Jillian Mary Saunders Crews.

Crews, aged 60, of Devon Road, pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates Court to causing unnecessary suffering to her collie dog Roscoe between July and September 2009.

She also admitted failing to provide a suitable environment for her five collie dogs, including Roscoe, and a Burmese cat called Harley.

Crews also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the animals were protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease and not ensuring their need to exhibit normal behaviour.

RSPCA prosecutor Matthew Knight told District Judge Maurice Champion that RSPCA officer Jo Daniels and a police officer entered Crews’s home last September because they were concerned for her wellbeing.

Reading directly from officer Daniels’s testimony, Mr Knight said the smell inside Crews’s home made the officer wretch and that the property’s interior was ‘squalid’.

Mr Knight said the officers found rubbish strewn across the floor inside the house and, in places, there were piles of excrement up to three feet deep.

Mr Knight said Crews’s collie Roscoe was found to have a heavy flea infestatio’, overgrown nails and acute dermatitis.

The court heard officer Daniels later stated she had not seen worse home conditions in her 23 years of working for the animal charity.

Judge Champion heard police seized numerous animals and took them to a vet for assessment and treatment.

The vet’s statement, summarised by Mr Knight in court, said four of the collies – Gemma, Gypsy, Blue and Jason – had overgrown claws and discharge coming from their eyes.

The vet’s statement said Roscoe was suffering from a long-untreated blood clot in his ear and acute dermatitis caused by untreated flea infestations.

The court heard the collies have now been treated and re-homed.

Mr Knight said Crews also owned 20 aviary birds, including chickens, as well as terrapins, tortoises, ponies, horses and a ‘number of dead and live stick insects’.

Mr Knight applied for a total of £10,296 costs to be paid, including the cost of boarding and treating the seized animals.

Simon Lacey, mitigating, said his client had been suffering from financial problems and used to run a pet shop in Coventry before moving to Weymouth.

Mr Lacey said his client had a long history of working with and caring for animals before her father died some years ago and she began suffering from medical problems.

Mr Lacey said his client’s problems had culminated and left her in a ‘depressed state’.

Judge Champion made Crews the subject of a three-year conditional discharge to cover all the offences. He also banned her from keeping cats and dogs for five years and ordered that her cat Harley be re-homed.

Judge Champion also ordered Crews to contribute £200 towards the court costs.