Dog breeding

Couple faces $ 42,000 bill for unlicensed pet shop and dog breeding, Pet Trade News & Events from Pet Business World UK

by Christopher Dyer

A husband and wife team who have pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed pet shop and breeding facility have been ordered to pay £ 42,000.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that the couple ran a farm where more than 100 dogs lived in a potential “disease reservoir” – although the prosecution acknowledged that none of the charges suggested cruelty and that the Most of the dogs “appeared healthy, happy and healthy. a good environment”.

David and Patricia Jones, 63, of Oaklands, New Lodge Farm, New Lodge Chase, Little Baddow, pleaded guilty to breeding unlicensed dogs and had six months to pay fines and court costs, including more of £ 37,000 of their revenue.

Their home was raided after complaints from four customers, two of whom had bought puppies who later died of a virus and two who had to pay vet bills after their unvaccinated puppies fell ill.

Council agents then posed as buyers to buy a puppy, leading to prosecution and confiscation of the couple’s ‘illegal’ income under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). It was the first such prosecution in Chelmsford involving animal offenses.

But after the court hearing Mr Jones, 66, said: ‘When the puppies arrive from Ireland they need to be vaccinated and if they then have a blood test shortly after the vaccination the result will be. of course positive.

“A lot of people don’t realize that you have to wait and be patient when you first get a puppy, but they’ll get them vaccinated right away and it often makes them sick.

“We’ve never sold a dog here with parvovirus – the vets just want to take your money, so they’re going to say ‘oh that’s pavo’ right away to get your money.

‘One of the plaintiffs claimed bills from vets on the insurance we give with each puppy – then again tried to sue us despite getting £ 2,600 from the insurance.

“The board needs to be more biosecurity conscious – when the vets come here they change their boots and overalls, but the board doesn’t.

“We didn’t know we needed the license – when we were told we were okay with it, but the board didn’t come back with the forms for months, so we didn’t think it was. was so urgent.

“I hate to think of what a waste of taxpayer money was spent getting us in court – that was a joke.”

Chelmsford Crown Court has learned that following complaints to the council, a veterinarian visited Jones’ farm in Little Baddow and found large numbers of adult dogs and puppies together, some imported from Ireland , which “created the potential for infection and disease.” spread.

Prosecutor Sasha Bailey said the vet described unvaccinated adult dogs in a crowded community as a possible “reservoir of disease among puppies.”

Recorder Pat Lynch QC fined each of the Joneses £ 1,000, ordered them to pay £ 2,824 on top of the forfeiture order, bringing the total to around £ 42,000.

She continued, “Overall the vet was happy that the premises and most of the dogs appeared healthy, happy and in a good environment. None of these accusations suggest cruelty.

“You both have a good character and you have been taking care of animals for quite some time and you have also taken care of them.”

Prosecutor Sasha Bailey said council officials traveled to Oaklands with an RSPCA inspector on February 10 last year after receiving information about the sale of puppies from the farm.

No license had been requested on June 13, 2012 when the couple needed it to sell more than five litters.

On September 26 of last year, the authority made a test purchase and purchased a Shih Tzu puppy.

A warrant was executed on October 11 and during this visit there were 13 unweaned puppies with their mothers, 15 home-bred puppies, 38 imported puppies from Ireland and 36 adult dogs.

The vet said very few appeared to be malnourished and those showing symptoms of illness were the exception.

Miss Bailey added: “However, in her opinion, there were many unsatisfactory conditions: far too many dogs, both from a management standpoint and the potential for major disease breakdown; and home-raised puppies with little or no protection against imported diseases.

Defending Matthew Gowen said a license was not required for a low-level operation and the couple didn’t realize they needed licenses until they were visited by the council in February 2012.

They spent a lot of money improving the premises afterwards, but by the time the council provided the application forms it had already decided to continue, he said.

But the couple agreed to continue trading after February.

Mr Gowen added that the board had agreed that appropriate veterinary treatment had been sought for one or two animals showing symptoms.

“Even though they didn’t have a license, they didn’t operate a pet store on a street, selling sick animals to the public. It was not their operation or their intention, ”he said.

The dog breeding business is not currently in operation.

Mr Jones said: “We give dogs the best, all-natural food, we run the puppy business because we love them. When we are up and running there will be the best facilities for the puppies and then we will apply for the new licenses.

Chelmsford City Councilor Ian Grundy said: “This is the first time public health and protection departments have used POCA in an animal welfare case and we hope the result has a deterrent effect…

“Approved establishments must respect conditions which protect animals and guarantee their good health.

“Illegally raising and selling puppies causes damage to animals and distress to people who buy sick puppies. Chelmsford City Council will continue to ensure that animals are treated well, the public protected, and criminals targeted and prosecuted wherever possible. “

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