A Stokenchurch woman was found dead on her kitchen floor surrounded by her some of her 26 dogs, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

The body of Jane Armstrong, who bred dogs as a hobby and had 26 of them at the time of her death in September last year, was sadly found by her mum Margaret after she did not respond to worried messages and calls.

Jane, 53, wrote a note with specific instructions about how to care for her dogs, what they should be fed and where they should be taken – prompting senior Bucks coroner Crispin Butler to conclude that she intended to take her own life.

She had a cocktail of prescription drugs in her system at the time of her death and had struggled with her mental health.

In a statement at an inquest into Jane’s death held at Buckinghamshire Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, her mum Margaret said she last saw her daughter on September 1, two days before she found her body.

Margaret said she later sent her daughter some messages on Whatsapp, but when she still had not read them or answered any phone calls, she went to Jane’s home in The Common, Stokenchurch.

She said: “At around 10.10am I arrived at Jane’s and I knocked on the door. I could hear the dogs going mad barking. I went round the back and the gate was unlocked – she usually left it locked.

“When I went in, there were lots of puppies in the garden and the back door of the house was open. I stepped into the kitchen and saw Jane laying on the floor. I knew she was dead.

“I went into the garden, sat on the bench and called police. I gave the dogs some water because their bowls were empty.”

DC James Wood from Thames Valley Police who attended the scene said although the back gate was unlocked, wheelie bins had been placed in front of the gate so there were no signs that anyone else had been involved in Jane’s death.

He said: “The house was untidy but there were no signs of a disturbance or a struggle. A handwritten note was found in the kitchen – 95 per cent of it related to the care of the animals and what food they needed.”

Dr Nicola Williams from Stokenchurch Medical Centre said Jayne had visited the surgery a handful of times since June 2019 and had mentioned she was struggling with anxiety.

She did not want any intervention at that moment, but they had made plans to see each other at an appointment the next week – but sadly Jane died before then.

Ruling that Jane had died as a result of suicide, Mr Butler said: “[The note] wasn’t a set of instructions as if someone is going on holiday. It was more final and clear about what would happen when she wasn’t there.

“It is clear that no one else was involved and clearly she had been deceased for a while. This is in the context of recent and longer-term mental health issues.”

For confidential support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit a local Samaritans branch. See samaritans.org for more details.