May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Friday, March 8, 2013
A former hotel manager who kept seven Yorkshire Terriers cooped up in a high-rise flat littered with piles of dog excrement has been fined just £185.
Ilektra Kanelou, 48, refused to groom or wash her pets for months on end, claiming they did not like to be touched.
The animals had sores and infections on their paws, open wounds and severely matted hair when they were rescued by the RSCPA after years of ill-treatment in the flat in Alfred Road, Westbourne Green.
Kanelou, a schizophrenic agoraphobic who has been out of work for 10 years, refused to allow others to care for the suffering animals despite being in financial difficulties, because she considered them “her family”, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Kanelou was first reported to animal welfare authorities when she turned up at a vet’s practice in October 2011 carrying one of her dogs, an eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier called Bijou.
“She had severely thick matting on all four legs, and the leg hind leg was lame,” said prosecutor Wendy Gutteridge. “Her left hind foot was swollen to two times the normal size and painful to touch, and smelt of infection. There was a laceration extending 3cm across the leg.”
Bijou was taken away for treatment and Kanelou was warned about properly caring for her dogs.
She was then visited at her seventh-floor flat by RSCPA inspectors who discovered “a large amount of dog faeces in every room and on the small balcony,” said Ms Gutteridge. “Some of it had been trodden and ground into the floor.”
Kanelou declined offers to have her other, healthy dogs rehoused so she could cope better. But when inspectors returned six months later the situation had deteriorated with “piles of faeces” on the floor and the dogs in a worse state. A month later they were seized.
Kanelou, who suffered depression, admitted causing suffering to a protected animal and breaching animal welfare laws, and was fined £185 plus a £15 victim surcharge, to be deducted from her benefits. She was ordered to pay £300 towards the £13,595 bill for kennel and legal costs, was banned from owning a dog for 10 years, and is receiving treatment for her mental health problems.