Volunteers at an animal rescue charity say it has had to close after the group’s founder was convicted of neglecting her pets.
Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), based at West Tanfield, had initially tried to continue as a charity but volunteers say it could not move past Dorothy Harland’s conviction.
Harland pleaded guilty to five counts of neglecting her own pets at Harrogate Magistrates Court on April 9 after an investigation by the RSPCA and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Volunteer Julie Hart said only one member of the group had been aware of the allegations before the court case.
She said: “Sadly it has become obvious that despite the renewed effort by volunteers and overwhelming support of sponsors and supporters the position was untenable.
“Any dog rescue related organisation will not work with a rescue that has any connection to anyone with a conviction for animal welfare issues.
“We the volunteers were devastated when we heard about the court case and are equally devastated now that all our hard work has come to this. All we ever want to do is help save dogs from death row.”