A woman who drowned her pet dog and five puppies in the kitchen sink has been banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

Suzanne Greenhalgh, 43, from Royton, Oldham had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to cruelly ill-treating the dogs.

Oldham Magistrates Court heard how RSPCA inspector Liz Walker called at Ms Greenhalgh’s home in Roy Street in July last year, following a call from a concerned member of the public.

In a wheelie bin outside the property, the inspector found the body of a seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier in one carrier bag and the bodies of five three-week-old puppies in another.

Ms Greenhalgh told the inspector that she had drowned the dogs in her kitchen sink and subsequent veterinary evidence proved drowning as the cause of death.

A vet estimated that it would take between 30 and 90 seconds for each dog to have lost consciousness.

At sentencing last Friday (7 February), Ms Greenhalgh was banned from keeping animals for 25 years, given a 240-hour communitypunishment order and told to pay full costs amounting to £861.

Greenhalgh’s solicitor told the magistrates that she would never forget what she had done and she herself could not understand why she did it.

After the hearing, inspector Walker said: “This was a very distressing case. RSPCA inspectors often come across shocking cases of cruelty to animals – but it does not get worse than drowning six innocent animals in a kitchen sink.

“If anyone is finding it difficult to cope with looking after animals, they must seek advice and support – there is never any excuse to cause suffering.”