A WOMAN in Abergele whose former Anglesey home was found covered in dog faeces, and who had left her pets without food or water, has had her sentence reduced on appeal.

Rebecca Hopkins, 28, of Marine Road, was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, last September, and was disqualified from owning or keeping pets for five years.

She had previously admitted charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and failing in her duty of care to ensure an animal’s welfare.

At Caernarfon Crown Court today (March 1), her suspended sentence was revoked, and her disqualification on keeping animals reduced to three years.


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Barrister Ember-Jade Wong told the court that, on March 30, 2023, officers twice attended Hopkins’ then-address on Bryn Trewan, Caergeiliog regarding an unrelated matter.

They received no response, but on the second occasion, looked into the property through a gap in blinds to see faeces “all over the floor”.

Officers could also see two dogs without food or water inside the property; when an officer looked through the letter box, one dog was “yelping” and trying to jump over a baby gate.

The next day, officers returned, and the dogs were still in the kitchen, while there was “more faeces than previously”.

Hopkins was also caring for two rats and guinea pigs each at the time; both were said to be within their cages but without food or water.

She was found “sleeping rough” in Colwyn Bay, telling officers she did not intend to return to her Anglesey property due to issues with mould.

On April 15, officers broke in to the Anglesey property, and were said to have been “overcome with the smell of faeces and urine”.

The dogs were “dishevelled”, and none of the six animals appeared to have any access to food or water.

Following further inspections, the guinea pigs were found to have no fresh bedding, and the acidity of the urine in their cage may have caused burns on their legs.

Of the two rats, one had identifiable breathing issues, and another was underweight.

Neighbours said they “heard dogs barking constantly”, meanwhile.

Hopkins relinquished care of all of the animals save for one of the dogs, but lost her right to also keep this pet after she was convicted.

Representing Hopkins, who had three previous convictions for five offences, Richard Edwards said she moved to Colwyn Bay to be with her partner at the time.

He was no longer allowed to reside at her address after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting her, but his Colwyn Bay address prohibited the keeping of animals.

Hopkins wanted to appeal the sentence in respect of her disqualification from keeping animals, as pets were said to bring her some comfort after losing custody of her children.

Judge Timothy Petts, presiding over the appeal with magistrates, removed the suspended jail term, but said a ban on keeping pets would have to stay in place.

But he said a five-year disqualification was “too long”, so reduced it to a “more realistic” three years.

“We realise that is a great source of distress for her,” Judge Petts added.