A GRANDFATHER evicted from his home after taking in 38 dogs said he could not face seeing them being put to sleep.
Roger Sutton, of Colwell Drive, Witney, admitted his love of canines spiralled out of control, after neighbours complained about the barking and smell coming from his semi-detached home.
Mr Sutton was fined at Oxford Magistrates’ Court for breaking a noise abatement order after the barking kept neighbours awake at night.
And landlords A2 Dominion were granted a possession order at Oxford Crown Court last Tuesday to evict the 62-year-old.
He now has until May 11 to leave his home of 30 years.
Unemployed Mr Sutton said: “I do regret that I took on so many dogs, but once you have got them you can’t put them to sleep.
“If I can’t find somewhere to take them, then they will have to be put to sleep.
“I think a lot of people will feel very sad that these dogs will be dead.”
The 62-year-old started adopting unwanted dogs 30 years ago, when he bred rare Dorset Old Time Bulldogs.
He claims that many of the pets he has taken on, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Bull Mastiffs, are breeds that are difficult to re-home.
Many also have health problems.
He said: “They are part of the family. We have quite a few that live indoors and some outdoors.”
Mr Sutton has not worked since leaving his job as an NVQ assessor five years ago, after suffering from depression. He pays for vet bills and dog food through stud fees.
The married father-of-four will not appeal against the eviction, and may move in with his children.
He will not be able to take his dogs with him.
Complaints about dogs barking at Mr Sutton’s house came to a head at the beginning of March, when he was fined for breaking a previous noise abatement order. Neighbours said that they could not sleep because of the noise.
Housing association A2 Dominion then took steps to evict Mr Sutton, after they received complaints from three people about the noise and smell.
Mark Butler, housing manager, said: “Roger Sutton was causing a severe nuisance to his neighbours by keeping at least 30 dogs at his home. Over the past few months, we have been working hard in an attempt to get Mr Sutton to reduce the number of dogs at the property.
“However, Mr Sutton continued to breach his tenancy agreement, and caused an ongoing disturbance to his neighbours.”
A Colwell Drive resident, who did not wish to be named, claimed he could smell faeces and urine coming from the property.
He said: “It is unbearable. My children can’t have friends around as their parents don’t want them in a smelly house.”
Another neighbour said: “The noise at 3am has woken me up.
“At the end of the day, they are tenants, and I don’t know how they have managed to get away with it for so long — the smell is like someone has died there.”
But Mr Sutton denied there was a problem.
He said: “We take great pains to make sure there is no smell, and hose-down twice a day. It has been greatly exaggerated.
“I think there is a bit of a vendetta from a couple of people.
“I am sad as I have been here for 30 years, and there only seemed to have been a problem a year ago.
“I have been trying to do good for these dogs.”