DOZENS of cats and dogs, rescued from an unlicensed animal business in West Drayton, have now been rehomed.

Hillingdon Council officers and police removed the animals from a house in Colne Avenue following concerns about animal welfare and unlicensed dog breeding. 

Accompanied by a vet, they discovered a ground-floor room with tiered animal cages from floor to ceiling.

The cages contained Russian Blue cats and kittens and were so small the animals had no space to run, jump, climb, stand on their hind legs or hide if they felt threatened.  

Two pens built from metal barriers contained pug and French bulldog puppies.

In the garden was a complex of buildings, where more Russian Blue cats were held in cages, and kennels, where the only bedding was cardboard boxes. 

Only one outdoor exercise area offered shelter from the weather, while another had direct access to the river with no barrier to prevent the dogs from falling in.  

The animals were removed and taken into the care of the council. They now have permanent homes.

Cllr John Riley, Hillingdon Council's cabinet member for public safety, said: "It is heartbreaking to think of these animals being exposed to such cramped and unhygienic conditions.”

Galyna Khudyakova, 57, and Volodymyr Tymoshenko, 47, of Colne Avenue, each pleaded guilty to two animal licensing offences at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court. 

They were each ordered to pay £24,150 in fines and costs.

In civil proceedings in 2019, they were ordered to pay the council costs totalling £207,000. Total council costs, which must be paid in full by December 2022, are £282,000.