A FORMER Kidderminster animal charity boss who kept rescued creatures in squalid conditions while accepting donations from well-wishers has been jailed.

Graham Stephens admitted failing to care for owls, dogs, rabbits, donkeys, a guinea pig and a squirrel at Little Meadow Animal Rescue Centre in Tenbury Wells.

The charity, which was first registered in 2007, was previously run under the name Wyre Forest Animal Trust before moving out of the area. 

The RSPCA raided the Tenbury Wells sanctuary in March last year where they discovered animals being kept in appalling conditions.

In one faeces-filled room of a static caravan inspectors found 35 animals, including 24 dogs, two rabbits, a guinea pig, five owls, a pheasant, a budgie and a squirrel.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Owls were found in faeces-caked cages in a static caravan Owls were found in faeces-caked cages in a static caravan (Image: RSPCA)

Rescuers described the smell as “horrendous” with shocking pictures showing many of the animals and birds being kept in tiny cages and in cramped pet carriers.

RSPCA inspectors also seized seven donkeys and a two alpacas which were living in a paddock outside.

Stephens, now of Bromyard, Hereford, admitted six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a previous hearing.

He also pleaded guilty to two charges of failing the duty of a person responsible for an animal to ensure welfare.

Kidderminster Shuttle: The animals were kept in a caravan caked with faecesThe animals were kept in a caravan caked with faeces (Image: RSPCA)

Stephens, aged 63, was jailed for eight months at Worcester Magistrates' Court last December but was granted bail after he lodged an appeal against the sentence.

On Tuesday (October 17) he withdrew his appeal at a hearing at Hereford Crown Court and was sent to prison.

He was also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £750 in court costs.

The court heard Stephens kept four grey donkeys, an alpaca, a Chinese Crested dog, two rabbits, a guinea pig, a grey squirrel and four tawny owls at the sanctuary.

Many of the animals had bad teeth, lice and were riddled with infections.

The animals were also kept in filthy, faeces-covered cages with some kept close to predators when they should have been kept apart.