A WOODHILL prison officer has been given a suspended jail sentence for keeping 60 dogs in appalling conditions at her home.
Amanda Hammond has also been banned from keeping animals for the rest of her life and ordered to pay almost £9,000 court costs.
The 66-year-old must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.
She was prosecuted by the RSPCA, whose officers visited her Northall home in June to discover huge numbers of dogs running wild as a pack.
Hammond went to work each day as a smartly-dressed prison officer, but the court heard her cottage was “filthy and unhygienic”.
It had no electricity or water and the floors were contaminated with dog urine and faeces.
The dogs, all collie crosses, were kept in insecure pens or in the house. Many were roaming on to the road or into nearby farmers’ fields.
It is understood Hammond started with two or three rescue dogs many years ago, when she worked within the environmental health department of a London council.
The dogs were never neutered and over the years puppies bred with puppies.
By the time the RSPCA visited, Hammond did not even know how many dogs she owned, a charity inspector said.
Hammond pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to meet the welfare of 47 dogs, and two charges of confining 11 dogs in an unhygienic environment.
She was given a suspended sentence of 16 weeks.
After the case the RSPCA revealed that Mrs Hammond had previously been offered help with her dog pack by the charity – but she refused it.
“When the RSPCA was called out to her home again, it was clear the situation had got out of control,” said inspector Kirsty Withnall.
All the dogs were signed over to the RSPCA but, despite the charity’s best efforts, some had to be put to sleep because they were too ill or too aggressive.
But a large number were successfully rehomed, said Kirtsy.
“All of these dogs had to be placed in very special homes with people who had the experience and patience to work with them,” she said.