AN RSPCA officer and a police officer were almost overcome by ammonia fumes from urine when they entered a house to investigate the treatment of two German shepherd puppies.

Blackburn magistrates heard the fumes made the RSPCA officer’s eyes water and the police officer was struggling to breathe and had to leave the property.

The floor of the property was described as covered in dog faeces and wet as a result of urine.

A subsequent examination of the puppies showed that one of them had swallowed a nail.

Ebony Louise Cartwright-Horrocks, who is in receipt of Universal Credit, told the court she had paid £3,200 for the animals.

Cartwright-Horrocks, 24, of Cedar Avenue, Haslingden, was convicted in her absence of failing to ensure the welfare of animals in her care.

She was fined £300 and ordered to pay £200 costs and £34 victim surcharge. She was banned from keeping or controlling animals for 10 years.

Paul Ridehalgh, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said on March 23 an RSPCA inspector had visited the property.

It smelled strongly of ammonia and he had given Cartwright-Horrocks advice the conditions the 14-week-old male dogs were being kept in.

Two weeks later another inspector attended with police and a housing officer from the local authority and found conditions had not improved.

The vet who examined the dogs said the ammonia would have had the same effect on the animals as it had on the humans who entered the property.

“He concluded the person responsible had failed to provide a suitable environment for the animals,” said Mr Ridehalgh.

When she was interviewed Cartwright-Horrocks admitted owning the animals and said they were kept in the living room and kitchen.

“She admitted leaving the house between 11am and 6pm most days and during this time the dogs toileted in the house,” said Mr Ridehalgh.

“The dogs have now been signed over to the RSPCA and I would ask you to consider your powers to prohibit her from keeping or controlling animals.”

Duncan Nightingale, defending, said his client had been “completely unprepared” for the care and attention the two young dogs would naturally demand of their owner.

“It is not a case where she has starved the or failed to take them to the vets,” said Mr Nightingale.

“It is just the appalling conditions in which they were living.”