A BARNSLEY pair have been jailed and banned from keeping animals for life after 50 animals - 22 of them dead - were found in a one-bedroom flat in Hoyland.

Charlene McCafferty McDowall of King Street, Hoyland and Lawrence James Skrzydlo, now of Co-Operative Street, Goldthorpe appeared before Barnsley Magistrates’ Court.

They each admitted seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

Inspector Jo Taylor said: “It was a horrendous scene – 50 animals crammed into a small flat, almost half of which were dead.

“There were cages, carriers, hutches and makeshift vivariums stacked on top of each other. All were filthy. There was no food or water.

“We got there just in time for vets to save a collapsed kitten who was suffering from dehydration and hypothermia. It was a miracle. None of us expected the poor little thing to make it, but she was a fighter.”

McDowall was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and Skrzydlo was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison.

The animals found included kittens, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, bearded dragons and a corn snake.