A dog died and 36 others were rescued after being found in “filthy” conditions, horrified animal rescuers have said.
The pups – including Yorkshire Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Border Collies – had been “left to suffer” at a property in Eastbourne.
The RSPCA said the property’s conditions looked “like a nightmare” – and sadly, one pup did not survive.
RSPCA Inspector Cora Peeters, who found the neglected animals, said when rescuers opened the door the noise level was “quite unbearable” and they were “greeted by a sea of little faces”, the Liverpool Echo reports.
A large number of dogs were extremely underweight and their coats were “crusty and deadlocked”.
Inspector Peeters said: “The sheer noise and smell of the house alone was overwhelming but to then see the conditions the dogs were being kept in was really upsetting. The property smelt very strongly of faeces and urine.
“The smell was overpowering and the conditions were extremely poor and filthy with slippery floors and dirty walls splattered with muddy dog prints.”
There also appeared to be no access to food or water.
Owner Christopher Mark Bennett was jailed for for 18 weeks and banned from keeping pets again after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to animals and ignoring their needs.
With help from the police, the RSPCA rescued all 36 dogs, some of which were pregnant and had puppies.
They were taken into RSPCA care in Brighton, Kent and Surrey where they were rehabilitated and rehomed.
After vet examinations, it became clear that some had serious health issues as many had overgrown claws, gingivitis, alopecia and one was suffering from a tumour.
Others had periodontal disease, which is caused by infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth.
One Yorkshire Terrier was especially malnourished, weighing just 2.15kgs, with the average male Yorkie weighing around 3.1kg-4.6kg.
The vet report said: “It is my opinion that the majority of dogs suffered as a result of the conditions in which they were being kept.”
The RSPCA report that around 129 pets are abandoned daily in England and Wales.
This is an increase from 104 last year and with the cost of living crisis, they suspect this number could continue to rise.