A DOG breeder whose negligence left puppies suffering “horrendous” physical conditions has been spared prison.

Annette Smith, 41, from Blubberhouses, sold pups that were covered in fleas and suffering from chronic diarrhoea. One of the dogs, a Cocker Spaniel named Holly, had severe eye and ear infections which hadn’t been treated.

When Smith sold the young spaniel to her new owners, she lied to them that the dog had received proper treatment, York Crown Court heard.

A separate RSPCA investigation revealed that Smith had sold eight other dogs which were also in poor health, said prosecutor Ayehsa Smart.

She was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in relation to the young spaniel, but took the case to appeal at York Crown Court after earlier receiving a jail sentence and being banned from keeping dogs for five years. But she abandoned her appeal against conviction before the case was called on Friday morning.

Ms Smart, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Smith had sold hundreds of dogs for about £900 each after breeding them at her puppy farm near Otley.

Eight owners had complained that their new pups were infested with parasites and suffering from extreme diarrhoea.

Holly the spaniel was suffering from an ear infection described as “severe” as it possibly could be, and had a “chronic” dry-eye condition.

Ms Smart said that between 2015 and 2016, Smith had been given repeated warnings by the RSPCA about the condition of some of the dogs, but ignored them.

Smith’s barrister Anastasi Tasou said the dog-breeding business had since been wound down.

He said that since she started breeding in 2008, Smith had bred hundreds of dogs but this was the first time she had been convicted of animal-welfare offences.

Mr Tasou said the young spaniel had “thankfully” survived and appeared to be thriving with her new owners, although the dog was left in a “horrendous” condition and had suffered terribly.

He said only four dogs remained at Smith’s home and they were family pets.

Smith’s family were now in “financial dire straits” due to the collapse of the breeding business and the fact that her husband couldn’t work due to injury, added Mr Tasou.

The court heard that Smith had also failed to surrender to custody following her arrest and spent four days in jail before being bailed.

The day before the aborted appeal hearing, she was also convicted of unlicensed dog breeding at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty on the day of trial.

Over an 18-month period between 2015 and July 2016, Smith had sold 232 puppies, eight of which had parasitic infestations and chronic diarrhoea. However, the physical condition of these animals wasn’t deemed bad enough to warrant a further animal-neglect prosecution.

Miss Recorder Harrison told Smith: “You put your own financial gain above the welfare of that poor dog.”

Smith was given an 18-week suspended prison sentence for the suffering she caused to the spaniel, as well as 100 hours’ unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation course.

In addition, Miss Harrison ordered that the five-year ban regarding the keeping of dogs remained in place. She suspended a separate order which gave Smith 21 days to rehome the four remaining dogs still at her home.

Smith was also made to pay over £13,000 prosecution costs, in part because she had been “silly enough” to take the case to appeal, and a £115 victim surcharge.

On Tuesday at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court, Smith was given a separate sentence for running an unlicensed dog-breeding business. The case was prosecuted by the licensing authority Harrogate Borough Council.

For this offence, Smith was given a five-year dog-breeding ban, fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £4,695 costs.