A mum has been banned from keeping animals for ten years after four puppies were found starving in a crate on top of piles of rubbish in her back yard.
Heavily pregnant Carly Bennett, from Staffordshire, had put the four bull mastiff pups out in the rain without food because they were 'keeping her awake'.
An RSPCA inspector found the malnourished puppies scavenging bins in the back yard for food and stinking of urine and faeces.
They were rescued from the 'hazardous' garden in Bentilee, Stoke.
The mum-of-five, who is due to give birth to her sixth child next month, was also found to have let an adult dog become dangerously emaciated while in her care.
Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard the inspector first visited the property in May last year.
Prosecutor Roger Price said: "There was no-one in at the time, so the inspector made inquiries locally. She was told by a neighbour that the puppies had spent the night in a crate in the garden, on top of a pile of rubbish.
"The inspector returned later that day and was allowed in by Mrs Bennett. She said her husband had taken the puppies away.
"The inspector went into the back garden and was immediately hit by a very offensive smell. She saw three adult dogs, which were in good condition.
"The garden was full of rubbish. There were car parts and other items regarded as hazardous to the animals."
The court heard the inspector could hear whining from behind a door. When it was opened, the four starving pups ran out and began frantically searching for food.
Mr Price said: "They ran into the garden and started rooting around in the rubbish bags. They appeared immediately to the inspector to be ravenous and desperate to find something to eat and drink."
Bennett then handed the animals over to the RSPCA inspector and they were taken to a vet.
Mr Price said: "The vet said the smell given off by the pups, which were seven to nine weeks old, was awful. It was typical of living in dirty conditions with urine and faeces."
Bennett claimed that the night before the inspector visited she had put the puppies outside because they were waking her up, despite the fact it was raining.
The pregnant mum pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal for which she was responsible.
The dogs are now being looked after and are in better health.
Tony Cooke, mitigating, claimed that although Bennett was responsible for the animals, they were not hers.
He said: "Mrs Bennett never sought the responsibility for these dog
"She has five children under 10 and is about to have another, so she just didn't have time to look after the dogs."
Bennett was handed a 12-month community order with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
She must also pay a £120 fine, plus £250 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
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