A man has been banned from ever keeping animals again after police found 167 helpless pets trapped inside cages at a filthy house.
Body-cam footage showed the horrifying moment officers discovered the poor animals who had been forced to live in disgusting conditions at the property in Northamptonshire.
Cops rushed to the house in Cromwell Road, Rushden after a 999 call was made about an awful smell and flies buzzing at the windows.
But what they would discover inside was truly heartbreaking, with one attending female officer admitting: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’
Warning: This article contains graphic images and footage some may find distressing
The stunned officers came across rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs and birds cramped in dirty, unsuitable conditions – and some forced to share cages with dead animals.
After police arrived at the squalid house, the officer said: ‘Oh my God. There are birds, ferrets, rats, all sorts in every single room, that clearly, obviously cannot remain.’
Dozens of cages with animals inside were piled on top of one another inside every room of the small house as they made their way around in February this year.
The officer continued: ‘There’s no proper food, look at the state of that, that’s gross. Poor little things.
‘This is disgusting. I just want to take them all home. These poor animals. Oh my gosh.
‘Some of them have literally got no water, no nothing. It’s just minging. Everything is just minging. This is horrible. Poor animals.’
Kim Starks, 61, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was identified as the owner of the animals and was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
He was also charged with breaching a disqualification order banning him from owning or keeping animals for life which was imposed in February 2000.
Starks pleaded guilty to both counts at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on February 28 this year.
While awaiting sentence, he was arrested again after being found responsible for several horses, a donkey, and numerous rabbits and guinea pigs in a field in Hannington.
Starks was charged with a further breach of the banning order, and a second count of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse.
He admitted all charges and was sentenced to 34 weeks in prison, suspended for two years last Friday.
A forfeiture order was made for all the animals involved and Starks was also ordered to pay £5,489.59 compensation.
His disqualification order was continued, preventing him from owning or keeping any animals for life.
PC Chloe Gillies, of Northamptonshire Police’s rural crime team, said afterwards: ‘When officers first attended the house in Rushden they were faced with a house filled with animals, all in terrible living conditions – there were a total of 167 living creatures packed into cages stacked on top of each other, all over the property.
‘While I’m disappointed this wasn’t an immediate custodial sentence, I’m very glad that the poor animals Starks was utterly failing to care for have been removed from him and will now have the chance to live healthy, happy lives.
‘I would also like to thank the RSPCA for all their assistance in this case, all the vets involved, and all those involved in the transport and boarding facilities for all the animals.
‘It was a team effort to rescue all these animals. The number of animals involved in this case was truly shocking and I am pleased that they have now been given the opportunity to find loving, caring homes.
‘I hope this case shows our commitment to protecting animal welfare – if we receive information that someone who is banned from keeping animals is breaching that, or committing other offences under the Animal Welfare Act, we will investigate.’
Earlier this week, a hamster was rescued after it was abandoned on a bus.
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