Banned – the Leeds vet who kept animals in sickening squalor

A veterinarian has been disqualified indefinitely after around 30 dogs and cats were discovered living in squalor at a surgery in Leeds.

Gary Samuel was also given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for animal cruelty offences having previously been found guilty at the end of a trial in January.

Gary Samuel, leaving an earlier hearing, who has been disqualified as a veterinarian.

Gary Samuel, leaving an earlier hearing, who has been disqualified as a veterinarian.

The animals were found in filthy conditions at Armley Vets, on Town Street, Armley on February 24 last year. Most of the dogs - mainly husky-types - were being kept in a faeces-covered basement, accessed by a trap door covered by carpet.

Twenty-two dogs and eight cats were removed, one cat was put to sleep on site after collapsing and four dogs were later put down on veterinary advice.

Sentencing Samuel at Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday, (March 7) District Judge Marie Mallon said: “You are a vet and you were surrounded in very tight circumstances by animals suffering severely. How you could live with that is incomprehensible.”

The sentence means Samuel, 49, is banned from owning, keeping or partaking in the keeping of animals, and from controlling or influencing how they are kept. He cannot apply for the disqualification to be lifted in the next five years.

Samuel, of Western Road, Southall, Middlesex must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work, pay a £200 fine and meet legal costs totalling £580. He is also being investigated by the professional veterinary body.

During the trial, the court heard that police discovered the animals after being called to investigate an alleged fight between Samuel and his former girlfriend, Rochelle McEwan.

McEwan, 28, of Town Street, Armley, who was working as a vet’s assistant at the surgery, was also found guilty of animal cruelty and was last month banned from keeping animals, given a 12-week suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of community work and was ordered to pay £330 in legal costs.

After yesterday’s hearing, RSPCA inspector Nikki Cheetham said: “This case has been ongoing for over a year now and when you can remember the conditions as clearly today as I could then, it makes you realise how shocking they were. We are really pleased with the result.”