A VET who examined the animals in a house allegedly used for illegally breeding puppies described conditions there as "intolerable".

Tom Spencer told Bournemouth magistrates that even after the premises had been ventilated for 10 hours, the levels of ammonia from the animals' urine was "unbearable".

"My eyes were still streaming the next day. It must have had massive effects on their (the animals) well-being. The true horrors of what we saw are not shown in the pictures," he said.

The court has heard that 59 dogs and puppies, six birds and a cat were recovered from the home of 71-year-old Johanna Price in Shelley Road, Boscombe. She denies 15 charges of animal cruelty and one of breeding dogs without a licence.

The prosecution says some of the dogs were kept in cramped cages with no bedding and were covered in urine and faeces.

Mr Spencer said in his opinion, all the dogs had been ill-treated. "Dogs always want to sit on bedding, and if given a choice, would sit on something dry. A dog's instinct is to be clean," he said.

Among the animals removed from the house were dogs with eye problems, a dachshund that needed dental treatment, a Jack Russell terrier suffering from dehydration, and a pregnant Yorkshire terrier that had lost its tail completely, the court heard.

"I have never seen an animal with its tail wrenched out of its base," said Mr Spencer, adding that the dog also had a second large wound that had been "totally neglected."

Neil Forbes, a veterinary expert in birds, said he examined a parrot that had been plucking out its own feathers over a long period of time. In his view, the bird should have been taken to a vet.

He found the parrot had rickets, which was "highly likely" to have caused arthritis in its joints, and a stomach problem, the court heard. "The bird... was in a degree of pain that was unnecessary."

Price, a former nurse, refused to sign over the animals to the RSPCA, the hearing was told.

The trial continues.