#TheList puppy farmer Frank James, born 05/04/1967, of 105 Coronation Way, Montrose, Angus DD10 9DW, and accomplice Michelle Wood, born c. 1989, of Berrymuir Road, Macduff AB44
Frank James and Michelle Wood caused dogs, ferrets and rabbits suffering at East Mains of Ardlogie Farm near Fyvie, Aberdeenshire AB53 8PH.
The Scottish SPCA and police raided the farm in November 2017, removing 105 animals including 87 dogs, the youngest being a few days old.
The animals were taken to Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centres for treatment and rehabilitation.
An undercover investigator for the Scottish SPCA described the conditions as “absolutely disgraceful”.
The investigator said: “We believe this was the largest scale puppy farming operation in Scotland.
“The conditions these dogs were being kept in were absolutely disgraceful. It fell far below the minimum standard in terms of animal welfare and, given the environment and sheer volume of puppies, it was immediately evident these were not being kept as pets and the premises was effectively a battery farm for pups.
“Our investigation revealed dogs on site were being intensively bred with little to no regard for their welfare.
“On site, we found a burnt out van which had dog carcasses within, suggesting this was a means of disposing dead pups.”
James first came to the attention of the Scottish SPCA in 2011 after selling a poorly cocker spaniel puppy on Christmas Eve. The pup was in such poor condition he had to be put to sleep by a vet the following day. In November 2012 James was banned from having any contact with animals for three years.
A Scottish SPCA investigation into James’s activities in March 2013 led to more than 70 dogs being seized from the same address.
Inspectors found cattle sheds packed with breeding bitches and dogs suffering with lice, skin sores, matted hair and cysts on their paws due to the floor being covered in faeces.
Following the investigation, James’ along with brother Edward James and son Sean James pleaded guilty to welfare offences in October 2014.
Frank James and his brother were banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years.
Sean James, who was 18 at the time, was ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years
In September 2016 a planning application in the name of Frank James’ daughter Elizabeth James (now Elizabeth Sutherland of Hillhead Caravan Park, Kintore, Inverurie AB51 0YX) with Sean James as the named agent was submitted to Aberdeen Council for the East Mains of Ardlogie farm to be used as breeding kennels. Following a huge wave of public objections the application was rejected at the eleventh hour.
Undeterred, the James family continued to operate their puppy farm illegally and Frank James flouted his ban on selling puppies.
Sentencing: James was jailed for nine months and banned from owning animals for life. Wood was given 300 hours of unpaid work and placed under supervision for two years. She was banned from keeping animals for ten years.