In March, their home was raided by two RSPCA officials and five policemen, complaining she had too many dogs in the house. Her home was untidy because she was clearing an attic, but the seizing of the dogs (breaking the leg of one of them) left it a befouled mess.
Acting on a tip-off from the RSPCA, Leeds social workers then intervened, and expressed surprise that the house was tidier than they expected. Nevertheless, they told the mother to bring her son's clothes to school, from where he was taken into foster care.
After three months, during which he has only been allowed short supervised "contact" with his mother, the boy is miserable, constantly asking when he can return home. His mother has repeatedly had to draw the social workers' attention to various conditions, such as head lice and threadworm, which indicated that he was not being properly cared for. Last week they announced that they were moving him to another foster home.
Although there was no evidence that she was anything other than an admirable mother, apart from the temporary mess made of the house in March, the social workers say her son cannot be allowed home until they have both undergone "psychiatric assessments". These cannot be arranged until October. Nor has the boy yet been given a guardian to represent him, as the law lays down.
I want to come home mummy: Aged five, 'Jenny' was torn from her parents by social workers after an RSPCA raid. Now a court says she must be adopted...
The chief reason offered by the social workers for abducting the girl two years ago was that her home had been left in an appalling mess after a raid by RSPCA officials and 18 policemen. They ransacked the premises looking for non-existent guns, and released into the house a pack of dogs kept in kennels outside by her father, a professional dog-breeder. The parents were arrested for protesting at what was happening (the mother suffering a miscarriage while in police custody) and the social workers were summoned to remove their daughter.
Mr Rich said he has clients who have been reported to social services after animal welfare workers inspected their animals.
He added there was no evidence in these cases to suggest the children had been abused.
Draft proposals have been drawn up by the London Safeguarding Children Board and the RSPCA.
These protocols would see the RSPCA cross reporting to children's social care departments households with children where there has been deliberate harm to animals or where animals had been deprived food, water, shelter or access to a vet.
Mr Wass, is adamant that this is not how his staff operate in the field.
"I am not aware of these protocols....that is not the way we want our officers to behave."
RSPCA - Kind to animals, cruel to humans