A COTSWOLDS woman found guilty this week of allowing seven pet dogs to starve has been ordered to pay £2,265 in fines and costs.
Margaret Lamont-Perkins, 64, of Cedar Lodge, Avening, kept 14 dogs but the court heard she could not afford to feed them all on the pension of £119 a week she was living on, in a case that has cost the RSPCA a whopping £56,649.
She was reported to the RSPCA by her concerned daughter, Penelope Perkins, who was visiting from her Bedford home with partner Michael Hole in August 2007 when she saw the dogs.
Eight dogs were seized in a raid by the RSPCA and police soon after.
Mrs Lamont-Perkins pleaded not guilty and told the court she did not believe the dogs had been suffering.
"There had been nothing about the dogs behaviour in the months leading up to this that gave me any concern," she said. "None appeared to be weak."
Coleford Magistrates Court found Mrs Lamont-Perkins guilty of five charges of failing to provide adequate food for four Great Danes, two Springer Spaniels and a Dachshund.
Yesterday Ceri Evans, court chairman, said: "It is obvious she could not afford to feed all 14 dogs to a sufficient nutritional standard.
"She saw the dogs each day and we cannot believe her contention that she was not aware of their bodily condition."
Mrs Lamont-Perkins was fined her £150 on each charge, and ordered to pay £1,500 costs and a £15 surcharge.
However, she was cleared of a similar charge relating to another Great Dane, Scooby, after the magistrates ruled he was not in as bad condition as the other dogs.
Seven of the dogs seized have now returned to full health in RSPCA care, the eighth died of an unrelated illness.