Newmains, Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Robert Brownlie

#TheList puppy trafficker Robert Brownlie, born 27/01/1977, of 47 Woodside Crescent, Newmains, Wishaw ML2 0NA

Notorious puppy trader Robert Brownlie from Newmains, North Lanarkshire

Brownlie – a known associate of notorious Irish puppy farmer Raymond Cullivan – pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide protection from disease, namely canine parvo virus, to two cockapoo puppies, as well as failing to provide a cockapoo puppy with veterinary treatment contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Brownlie also pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of a dog and seven puppies in his care.

Furthermore Brownlie pleaded guilty to offering for sale animals as pets, namely cockapoo pups, without the relevant license, contrary to the Pet Animals Act 1951.

An undercover inspector said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the case especially with regards to lifetime disqualification order.

Notorious puppy trader Robert Brownlie from Newmains, North Lanarkshire

“This sentence sends out a strong message to anyone who is involved in the puppy trade that the courts are taking these activities seriously.

“It is rare that lifelong disqualifications are handed out. This prosecution was brought about as part of Operation Delphin an on-going Operation to combat the illegal puppy trade.

“The Special Investigations Unit of the SSPCA is working alongside partner organizations to tackle this multi-million pound industry including ISPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, RSPCA, HMRC Trading Standards, Stenaline, Police Scotland Port unit and APHA.”

“The pups involved in this case, including Pomeranians and cockapoos, would have undoubtedly have been bred in a puppy farm in Southern Ireland, as a result they will have been reared in very poor conditions will little or no socialisation and due to the stress of their upbringing and the transportation and changes in environment, their immune system is very low.

“Once these pups reach their new owner via the dealers they often develop diseases such as Parvo Virus and giardia and with specific regard to this case this can result in extremely high vet bills.

“Often these pups will die from these diseases. This is extremely distressing for the new owners.”

“Trafficked pups often look fine when they are purchased, but problems will begin to show at a later stage by which time money has exchanged hands and the selling agent is long gone.

“If you have purchased a puppy that shows any signs of illness or distress take it to the vet immediately.

“We are pleased that Brownlie has been dealt with by the court and that this case of puppy trafficking and neglect has been rightly recognised with a lifetime ban.”

Sentence: 240 hours’ unpaid work; £2,880 in fines; banned for life from keeping animals

Daily Record

Update June 2017
In June 2017 Scottish newspaper the Sunday Mail reported that Brownlie was targeted along with others including Lauren Cullivan and Christopher Gorman by HMRC in an operation to crack down on the flow of designer puppies from Ireland to UK ports. It was revealed Brownlie owed £500,000.

Update March 2020
On 2 March 2020, the Daily Record reported that Brownlie had been caught on camera boasting about the millions of pounds he made from selling farmed puppies.

Brownlie told protesters from Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) outside Shawfield greyhound racing track he made a £20million fortune selling pomeranian and cockapoo puppies – all without a licence.

Notorious puppy trader Robert Brownlie from Newmains, North Lanarkshire

A member of SAGE said: “Brownlie was walking into the stadium with a group of pals when he spotted us and came over.

“He spelled out his name and then said he’d made millions from puppy farming while us ‘saddos’ were standing out there. When I got home, I looked his name up on the internet and was disgusted by what I read.”

The SAGE member added: “We have cameras on our banners because of the abuse we get. Brownlie was boasting and goading us. It’s rare that lifelong bans on keeping dogs are handed out but I’m not surprised he got one.”

Gosport, Hampshire: Claire Hopkins

#TheList Claire Hopkins, born c. 1972, of 1XX Tukes Ave, Gosport, Hants PO13 0SD – left 3 horses unattended for 2 weeks, during which one horse died

Claire Hopkins from Gosport, Hampshire, left three horses unattended for two weeks.
Claire Hopkins from Gosport, Hampshire, left three horses unattended for two weeks.

Hopkins admitted three offences over three horses kept at Newgate Lane, Fareham. Molly in the stable in Newgate Lane, Fareham.

Left stabled and neglected for around two or three weeks in the spring, the three horses, Phoebe, Fred and Molly, were left to fend for themselves.

Following a call from a concerned member of the public, RSPCA inspectors found that Phoebe had died, her body remaining with Fred. Molly was so emaciated that she was close to death and was later found to be in-foal.

“It was horrendous,” explained RSPCA inspector Jenny Ride. “To see a deceased horse basically rotting away and another not long from death must have been mental and physical torture.”

Fred, Molly, and her foal, Bluebell, have now been successfully rehomed, all in the same place.

Sentence: eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, 20 days of rehabilitation activities;  £300 fine and an order to repay the vet costs of £274.80; banned from keeping horses for just three years (expires November 2019).

Horse and Country

Norton, Stoke-on-Trent: Claire Machin

#TheList Claire Machin, born c. 1980, last known address Pinfold Ave, Norton, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 – neglected horses and pet dog

Horse abuser Claire Machin from Stoke on Trent, UK

Machin, who is from a notorious family of travellers and horse traders (her mother, Jackie Johnson, went on to be banned for life from keeping horses in 2017) was convicted of causing ‘unnecessary suffering to two horses and a dog’ in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.

The RSPCA took Machin to court following two separate complaints regarding her pet shihtzu Coco, and two horses.

Horses neglected by Claire Machin from Stoke on Trent, UK
Horses neglected by Claire Machin from Stoke on Trent, UK

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin, who investigated alongside colleague Laura Bryant, said: “We were invited along on a warrant as part of an investigation by Animal Health and found Ms Machin’s dog, Coco. She was very, very thin and vets gave her a body condition score of just one out of five.

“The vet also found a huge bladder stone which she said was the biggest she’d ever seen in comparison to the little toy dog’s size – it took up the whole of her bladder.”

Horses neglected by Claire Machin from Stoke on Trent, UK
Horses neglected by Claire Machin from Stoke on Trent, UK

Around a month later, the RSPCA were called again to emaciated ponies in a field.

“Two colts in the field were extremely skinny and the vet who saw them gave them a body condition score of just 0.5 out of five. They were so weak they couldn’t even pick their back legs up to walk.

“We weren’t sure if they were going to make it and, for the first week in our care, one of the little ponies had to be scooped up off the floor several times a day as he didn’t have the strength to stand himself.

“Thankfully, all the animals recovered and are doing amazingly well and can now go on to be rehomed.”

Machin had denied three offences of causing unnecessary suffering – one allegation in relation to the dog and one each in relation to both of the ponies – but was convicted on all counts and sentenced under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Sentence: 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months; £1,000 in costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

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ITV News

Update 2019: Claire Machin is using the name Mandy Ding on Facebook. The family’s horse trading business continues to operate with Claire Machin’s brother Wayne Sallis playing a key role.