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VIDEO: Suffering animals kept in 'dungeon' at Yorkshire veterinary practice

VIDEO: Suffering animals kept in 'dungeon' at Yorkshire veterinary practice

Published at 4:08pm 22nd January 2016. (Updated at 5:42pm 7th March 2016)

A vet and his assistant have been convicted of neglecting dogs and cats which were found living in filthy conditions in a dark basement in Leeds.

Police and the RSPCA removed 22 dogs and eight cats from Armley Vets after being called to the practice on 24 February 2015.

One cat was put down on site and a dog was put down the following day to end their suffering.

Another three dogs were also put down on veterinary advice.

Gary Samuel, 49, of Enfield, London, and Rochelle McEwan, 28, of Stonecliffe Close, Leeds, went on trial last month and the District Judge found them guilty of all charges, which included causing unnecessary suffering.

RSPCA inspector Nikki Cheetham said: "You think you've seen it all in this job and then you get a call like this.

"Police attended on another matter and found the animals in cages in a back room, the vet's living quarters and a basement, accessed by a trapdoor that had been covered by carpet.

"That's where most of the dogs were found - living in cages in a pitch black dungeon. It was filthy, there was faeces everywhere, and they had no access to food or water.

"Most of the cats were shut in one room, which was also covered with excrement.

"The condition of these animals and the way in which they were being kept was appalling.

"This situation was made even more shocking when you consider that those people responsible are in a position of trust. People who work in the veterinary profession are the first port of call if an animal needs help.

"It is unthinkable to consider what was going on in this surgery as clients were coming and going, paying their vet fees."

The dogs were Husky-types, including several puppies, with the exception of two Chinese Crested dogs.

Most of them were signed over to the RSPCA, except two Huskies and the Chinese Crested dogs, which are still in RSPCA care pending sentencing.

15 dogs and six cats have been rehomed from RSPCA centres and branches including Harrogate, Leeds and York.

Samuel and McEwan are due to be sentenced on 12 February.

WARNING: You may find the video footage upsetting.