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A WOMAN who won a top prize at Crufts is facing jail for keeping more than 90 animals in 'squalid and horrendous conditions.
Wendy Hutcheson, who ran Audenshaw Dog and Cat Home, was runner up in the 'yearling bitch' category at Crufts in 2007 for showing an American cocker spaniel, Tameside magistrates' court heard.
But when' RSPCA inspectors were called to the sanctuary on Hanover Street, they found most of the 92 animals, including the prize-winning breed, with no food or water.
Their coats were caked with urine and faeces from being kept in cramped cages and pens and many had breathing problems caused by the 'overpowering' stench.
One dog's eye was so badly infected that it had to be removed and another lost 26 teeth. Some of the animals at the home, which was used as a boarding kennel and shelter for unwanted animals, were piled on top of each other in cages which had not been cleaned for 'weeks if not months'.
The animals, including rabbits and birds, were discovered in January last year when Hutcheson, 58, called the police claiming her husband was missing.

Officers found no trace of Mr Boyle, whom Hutcheson later blamed for the state of the animals, but instead found several squalid buildings with the animals inside, including in a caravan where she was living.
The RSPCA were called and a vet who examined the animals said they were the worst conditions he had seen in 28 years.
Paul Turner, prosecuting for the charity said: "The conditions were horrendous and the state of most of the animals was appalling."
Hutcheson, who now lives in Scotland, claimed the faeces had been produced overnight and during the day the RSPCA were carrying out their investigations.
But Vicki McDonald, an inspector for the animal welfare charity; said: "It clearly had not been cleaned effectively for quite some time.
"The floor was giving way it was soaked in urine. In between the miaows all you could hear was wheezing.
"It was very dililcult to identify some of the breeds because they were so heavily matted.
"They looked dreadlocked, Crufts winner convicted these thick dreadlocks of faeces."
Hutcheson, who pleaded not guilty at an earlier appear- ance, failed to turn up to at court for the trial but the case was heard in her absence.
She was found guilty of six charges of causing unnecessary suffering between January 14-30 last year by keeping the animals in squalid and filthy conditions, failing to provide appropriate veterinary care or suitable accommodation and failing to exercise reasonable care and supervision or protect them from pain, injury, suffering or disease. A warrant was issued for her arrest and she faces a hefty fine or up to six months in jail.
But as the Advertiser went to press, Hutcheson was seeking to have the case reopened on the grounds that she had been absent from the hearing.

Lifetime ban for Crufts contender in - cruelty shame
by Sue Carr

BANNED... Wendy HutchesonA TOP Crufts contender who kept more than 90 dogs and cats in 'despicable' conditions with no food or water has been banned for life from having anything to do with animals. Wendy Hutcheson, who ran Audenshaw Dog and Cat Home, was runner-up in the 'yearling bitch' category of the competition in 2007 with her American cocker spaniel. But when RSPCA inspectors were called to the Hanover Street sanctuary they found 92 animals, including the prize-winning breed, in 'squalid and horrendous' conditions described as the worst they had ever seen. Animals were emaciated and their coats were caked with urine and faeces from being kept in cramped cages and pens which had not been cleaned for 'weeks if not months' Many had breathing problems caused by the 'overpowering' stench. One dog's eye was so badly infected it had to he removed - another lost 26 teeth.
Hutcheson, who now works as a carer in Scotland, failed to turn up for trial at Tameside magistrates court but was convicted in her absence of six charges of causing unnecessary suffering. The 58-year- old was later arrested and kept in custody until Friday's sentencing. She was banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. The offences date back to January last year when police called at the home, used as a boarding kennel and shelter for unwanted animals, to investigate a report made by Hutcheson that her husband, Michael Boyle, was missing.
They found no trace of Mr Boyle but found several squalid buildings with the animals inside, including a caravan where she was living. Hutcheson claimed in court to be suffering from mental health problems.
District judge Rhalid Qureshi said: "What's clear from the evidence is that 92 animals were in considerable distress and living in despicable conditions.
"I am going to disqualify you for life. You are to have nothing whatsoever to do with the keeping, transporting or welfare of any types of animals."
RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald said: "I am pleased with the lifetime ban, which will prevent any animals being subjected to such squalor inthe future and hopefully will go some way to serving justice for the suffering of the animals."
Hutcheson is to appeal her conviction.

APPALLING... Many of the breeds had matted ~r INFECTED... One dog's eye had 	    to rernoved SQUALID... AI*nals were kepi I~i ~ Cag.8

A happier future for rescued dog

NOW HEALTHY... Barney with owner Naomi Aspinall THESE days bright-eyed Barney is a different dog to the cowering creature rescued from Hutcheson's Audenshaw Dog and Cat Home.
The American cocker spaniel was among 63 dogs and 25 cats removed from squalid living conditions in January 2009.
Almost two years on and Barney is healthy and happy in a new home with owner Naomi Aspinall. Naomi, of Hillcrest, Hyde, said: "They told us the matted fur they shaved off him weighed more than he did, but what upset me more was how timid he was.
"He's still a bit protective of people coming in the house but he's fine with the family .He's a sweetheart."

Dear Ed,

Your story on Sarah Whitehead and those attacking Huntingdon Life Sciences only goes to show that those of us who feel strongly that animal testing is abhorrent and unecessary cannot stop what goes on by staying within the law. Whilst the tactics used by the group might transgress lawful activity,the motive to stop torture is a high moral position and people such as those mentioned are like myself,frustrated in trying to stop such 'research' that not only causes pain and suffering,but impedes proper medical research by touting the idea that animals can model humans.The travesties that have happened because of the misguided idea that animals are similar enough to humans to warrant experimentation have been evidenced by such cases as Thalidomide which caused no problems in rabbits but devastated human life.

Human beings seem to have a serious schizoid personality over moral issues with animals. One the one hand they say they are like us enough to do experiments, but the same people do not think them similar enough to give rights to. If Huntingdon thinks those creatures are genetically similar to warrant doing tests on,then they are similar enough to feel pain and misery as we do and so should have the same rights as we do. Had Huntingdon been using humans - they would be guilty of human rights abuses. Sarah Whitehead is a heroine in my book - and I for one will be campaigning to get her out of prison and given a medal - Huntingdon should be closed down as the antequated institution that it is.

ON the mend...Meanle recovers at home with Shona Rose after his firework ordeal

A PET dog had its tall blown off in a sick attack by firework yobs. Meanie, a five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier needed surgery on the base of his tall for the horrific injury Another firework was attached to Meanie's collar; leaving him with badly singed ears. He went missing from the family home in Hyde on Sunday and was recovered by Animal Wardens Ltd three days later The attack has horrified owners Vicky Parkin and partner Michael Wilding, from Grange Road North, Hyde. Meanie, a former rescue dog, has been with the family for two years and is adored by them and their four children Shona-Rose, eight, Spencer, seven, Scarlet, three, and two-year-old Steven. Vicky a home carer said: "We were heartbroken when we found out what had happened to our dog. We were all crying our eyes out. "He went missing on Sunday and I rang round everywhere and thought about putting up posters. I assumed somebody had found him and taken care of him "We were so relieved to get him back but we never thought someone would do this to him. He's a really harmless and very friendly dog. There must be some sick and twisted people out there to do something like that." Vet Carole Lynch, who operated on Meanie at Willows Veterinary Hospital in Denton, said: "It really is quite an horrific injury and one of the most horrible I have ever seen." A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "It's just beyond comprehension why anyone would want to do something like that." Police are investigating the attack.