THE RSPCA has attacked the legal system and claims it was forced into dropping charges against Mrs Mitchell by the judge.
While in court the RSPCA offered no evidence on the 15 charges of which Mrs Mitchell was cleared and agreed she should be dealt with on two charges only.
But a senior RSPCA official has attacked Judge Nicholas Woodward, who he said had forced the RSPCA into dropping the charges by indicating what the likely outcome of the appeal hearing would be.
'The RSPCA has reacted with dismay as 15 out of 17 animal cruelty charges against Roberta Mitchell were overturned at Mold Crown Court,' he said.
'Mrs Mitchell was convicted in February of causing unnecessary suffering to 15 dogs and two ponies. The animals were living in filthy conditions, resulting in many of the dogs suffering eye complaints and skin conditions.
'The two ponies had badly overgrown hooves and sadly had to be put to sleep.'
The statement by RSPCA chief superintendent of prosecutions Phil Wilson said: 'The RSPCA is bitterly disappointed at the outcome of today's proceedings.
'The judge in this case, Mr Woodward, forced the Society not to contest 15 out of 17 convictions. Despite not having taken the time to hear all the prosecution evidence, he gave a clear indication to the RSPCA what, in his view, would be the likely outcome.
'The unduly lenient and absurd sentence has resulted in the RSPCA having to return several animals to the filth and squalor in which they were found.
'Clearly the legal system in this country has failed to protect animals from abuse.'
RSPCA inspector in charge of the case Chris Dunbar said: 'I am dissatisfied with the outcome of the proceedings and feel animal welfare has taken a step backwards.'