Flyball trainer Margaret Greaves kept dogs ‘in cells’

A flyball trainer who competed internationally has been banned from keeping dogs for life after 40 animals were found at her home in “horrific” conditions.

The RSPCA visited Margaret Greaves’s house after concerns were raised about the welfare of dogs at the property.

Inspectors found 30 dogs living in “their own little prison cells” with no food or water.

Six puppies, two cats and two parrots were also found.

Dog in cage
Inspector Laura Kirkham said there was faeces and urine in the crates

The dogs were found in squalid conditions all over the house, as well as seven living in a van.

RSPCA inspector Laura Kirkham said: “They were living in their own little prison cells – it was absolutely horrific.

“There were faeces and urine in the crates and, in some, there were two dogs in each.

“The smell was disgusting, it was so overpowering that it was burning my throat.”

Five of the dogs were put to sleep on veterinary advice and a puppy removed from the property died from natural causes.

The remaining animals are in RSPCA care or have been re-homed.

Dogs in cage
Dogs and other animals were found all over Margaret Greaves’s house – including seven dogs found in a van

Greaves, of Rookery Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

She was also banned from keeping any animal for three years.

The RSPCA said Greaves ran a Nottinghamshire-based dog flyball team and has previously competed in national and international competitions.

Flyball sees two teams of four dogs each racing side-by-side over a 51ft (15.6m) course, releasing and catching a ball.