Category Archives: Puppy farmers, kennels and backyard breeders

Puppy farmers, kennels, backyard breeders

Stewarton, East Ayrshire: Elaine Erskine

#TheList breeder Elaine Erskine, born 13/02/1960, formerly of East Lodge, Craufurdland, Kilmarnock KA3, but now apparently living in a caravan in Fenwick Road, Stewarton, East Ayrshire – lived in a faeces-infested house with 27 dogs, some of whom were “on the brink of death” after she had failed to give them food, water and bedding for six months.

Three pets were destroyed after breeder Elaine Erskine was found living with 27 neglected dogs
Three pets were destroyed after breeder Elaine Erskine was found living with 27 neglected dogs

Erskine lived in squalor with 27 dogs in conditions so bad that three of the animals had to be put down.

Images taken at the scene of horror showed two German Shepherds lying in their own filth in a bungalow where Elaine Erskine kept 27 dogs in shocking squalor. The German Shepherds, named Arti and Rosie, were covered in open sores and too weak to lift their heads off the floor.

One was put to sleep on the spot and the other was euthanised later along with a Jack Russell found at the house wounded and in distress.

Other photos show cages where dogs were locked up and rooms buried under rubbish and faeces.

Three pets were destroyed after breeder Elaine Erskine was found living with 27 neglected dogs

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard how Scottish SPCA sinspectors found animals emaciated and “on the brink of death” when they went to Erskine’s house, after a tip-off about animal neglect.

They got no answer when they arrived. But when they went round the back they found makeshift kennels that housed ten Jack Russells and a squalid, empty outhouse.

The inspectors peered inside the property through patio doors and spotted two German Shepherd dogs and one Jack Russell standing inside a “filthy” kitchen.

When they looked in other windows they spotted three more Jack Russells in an empty room with dog dirt covering the floor.

Jack Russell terrier

The inspectors feared the animals were at great risk of suffering and left a card asking the owner to contact them immediately.

When they got no response they returned the next day with a vet and armed with a warrant to get into the property.

As they opened the front door they were immediately hit by a foul stench of urine and faeces.

It was so strong that one inspector had to go out for fresh air and to clear her stinging eyes.

Once inside the house, the team moved from one squalid room to the next — finding more and more neglected dogs badly malnourished, emaciated and covered in their own muck.

dog in filthy house

They could hardly get into the kitchen because of a mountain of rubbish behind the door.

When they finally got in they discovered the two German Shepherds and four Jack Russells.

The court heard the dogs were in a pitiful state, with one so poorly that they had to be put down on the spot.

And prosecutors said when Erskine arrived at the scene she tried to stop inspectors looking for more dogs.

Fiscal Jennifer Harkins told the court: “In the kitchen there were two adult German Shepherds and a small Pomeranian.

“They were unable to lift their heads and had open sores. At this point the police arrived.

“The accused was spoken to by inspectors but she blocked access to stop them examining the two German Shepherds.

“She stated that she was so ashamed and that she ‘knew that the dogs would need to be put to sleep as they were in a bad way’.

“One of the two German Shepherds was immediately euthanised and the accused became upset.”

Ms Harkins said of the further searches on March 28, 2018: “The main bedroom was the last room to be entered and had two Jack Russells within a cage and a further two pups in another cage.

“A Pomeranian with three small pups was also in a cage.”

The prosecutor went on to talk about another dog that was found to be suffering from a leg fracture and skin ulcers.

She added: “There was another Jack Russell wedged between the cages.

“This dog had extremely bad wounds to both back legs and the bones were clearly visible.

“It was in a great deal of distress and emaciated and was immediately removed from the property.”

Erskine’s defence lawyer Douglas Macphee told the court his client had been living in the same conditions as the animals.

He said: “She accepts full responsibility for these matters. She is very ashamed. She found herself in a position where she struggled to cope and then she couldn’t cope.

“She continued to live in the property notwithstanding the conditions.”

Erskine admitted failing to give the dogs food, water and bedding between December 2017 and March 2018.

Sentencing Erskine to 14 weeks in prison, Sheriff Michael Hanlon told her: “This was as bad an example as I’ve ever come across.”

But Erskine’s lawyer appealed against the decision, arguing there were alternatives to custody as a punishment.

Erskine was freed pending the result of that appeal and her case will be heard at a later date. If it fails she will be hauled back to jail to do her time.

Scottish SPCA inspector Jade Cumming, who led the investigation, said: “We welcome the 14-week jail sentence as this sends out a strong message that abusing an animal is a criminal offence and courts will take action.

“We are pleased she has been banned from owning, keeping or taking possession or care of any animal for life.

“In our view, banning people who are guilty of mistreating and abusing animals can only help prevent more suffering.

“Bans also send an important message that owning an animal is a privilege rather than a right.”

Sentencing:
Jailed for 14 weeks (but freed pending appeal). Banned for life from keeping animals.

The Sun
Irvine Times

Slough: Teresa Reynolds

#TheList backyard breeder Teresa Reynolds, aged 55, of 274 Long Furlong Drive, Slough SL2 2PR – kept dogs and cats in dirty and undersized cages.

Backyard breeder Teresa Reynolds of Slough, Berkshire
23 dogs and cats were removed from backyard breeder Reynolds’ property. Two dead puppies were found in a bin.

Reynolds was convicted of 11 offences of failing to ensure animal welfare. She  was prosecuted after a complaint regarding the breeding and selling animals was investigated by the neighbourhood services team of Slough Borough Council (SBC) in 2017.

The court heard how council and Thames Valley Police officers were overwhelmed by the smell of faeces and urine and the sheer number of animals in Reynolds two-bedroom council home.

When Reynolds was asked how many pets there were, she did not know.

Pugs, poodles, cocker spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, shih-tzus and chihuahuas were among the animals found.

SBC Neighbourhood manager Ian Blake told the court how he found 16 dogs stacked up in dirty cages that were too small for them and had no access to water. Some of the animals were caged in pairs.

More animals were found in the garden including a large poodle, who had no access to the property due to a stairgate blocking the way. The only water present for her was in a bucket which contained other items.

Four cats were discovered in a bird aviary in the garden, whose overflowing litter trays were placed next to their water bowls.

The only clean crate found with bedding, food and water inside, contained no animal.

During the trial, it was revealed that officers found two dead puppies in a wheelie bin outside the house.

Reynolds told Mr Blake that she had been unable to feed them after their mother had died.

All 23 cats and dogs were removed from the property and transported to the Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maidenhead, where it was noted that several dogs were heavily soiled, two of the female cats were pregnant.

A tom cat’s fur was so heavily matted it needed to be shaved to prevent long-term suffering.

Documents seized from the home indicated that Reynolds was selling animals from her home and that more than 250 animals had been handled within the property over two years.

Receipts were found for dogs being sold for £1,200, £900 and various other amounts, as well as bank statements with transactions indicating the sale of puppies and kittens.

Complaints about Reynolds breeding and selling animals have dated back to 2010, but this was the first time there was evidence for a prosecution.

The council’s fraud team became involved, who discovered that Reynolds had failed to update the benefits team that she was receiving income from her trading.

As a result, she was additionally found guilty of two counts of fraud after falsely claiming benefits.

Having been signed over to the council, all the animals have been re-homed and are doing well.

Sentence: 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work, a 15 day rehabilitation requirement, £2,000 in legal costs.  Seven-year ban on owning any animal.

Slough Express

Dartford, Kent: Viktor Molnar

 #TheList Viktor Molnar, a 58-year-old vet from Darenth Fishing Complex in Dartford –  bypassed rabies laws and illegally imported puppies from Hungary

Vet Viktor Molnar imported puppies to the UK  illegally, bypassing rabies laws
Vet Viktor Molnar imported puppies to the UK illegally, bypassing rabies laws

Molnar, who advertised himself as a mobile vet, pleaded guilty to offences under the Rabies Order 1974 and the Animal Health Act 1981, and to an offence under the Pet Animals Act 1951 for using his premises a a pet shop without a licence.

He was brought to justice after a retired teacher from Renfrewshire, Scotland, bought a miniature dachshund puppy called Janet from him for £700. The puppy was sick on the journey home from Bury, so she contacted Molnar to request a copy of the animal’s pet passport.

She also took Janet to a vet in Paisley, where the puppy was estimated to be aged between eight and 12 weeks, much younger than the age suggested on the vaccination card.

Bury council said that as a result, the puppy was too young to have been brought into the UK legally.

The vaccination card had no record of a rabies jab or tapeworm treatment, so Renfrewshire council was contacted and the puppy quarantined.

Council bosses there alerted their counterparts in Bury.

An animal health inspector visited Hungarian-born Molnar’s flat in February 2016 and found four adult dogs and five miniature ‘teacup’ dachshund puppies inside.

Bury council said Molnar purchased the puppies online and they arrived by van the night before with Hungarian-issued pet passports.

The inspector, a court heard, sought advice from a veterinary practice where the puppies were estimated to be under 12 weeks old, rather than the 17 weeks indicated by their pet passports.

The council said it meant they would have been too young to be vaccinated and lawfully brought to the UK as a result.

Those puppies were quarantined as well as Bury Licensing Service launched a probe into Molnar.

Bury council said the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has been contacted over his fitness to continue practising as a vet.

Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury council, said: “Young puppies should never be transported long distances into the UK, yet underage and unvaccinated puppies continue to be illegally sent here from abroad – often in appalling conditions – and are destined to be sold via online adverts to unsuspecting members of the public.”

Sentencing: 

Molnar was given a 270-hour community order and disqualified from operating a pet shop or a boarding facilities for 10 years.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £2,686.93 to the woman who purchased the dog and £2,500 court costs.

Manchester Evening News

Bexleyheath, London: Janet Oxlade

#TheList Callous breeder Janet Oxlade, age 67, of 9 Grazeley Close, Bexleyheath, London DA6 7QF – kept 38 dogs and 18 cats in filthy makeshift pens in her back garden and crates inside the house

Callous breeder Janet Oxlade from Bexleyheath, London kept dogs and cats in horrifying conditions
Callous breeder Janet Oxlade from Bexleyheath, London kept dogs and cats in horrifying conditions

Oxlade pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences following an RSPCA raid at her home in Bexleyheath.

An independent vet who joined officers on the raid said it was some of the worst conditions he’d ever seen and compared the matted filth in the animal’s coats to “armour-plating”.

RSPCA Inspector Cliff Harrison filmed around two hours of footage as evidence. In the video he says: “There’s filth and mud everywhere and the dogs couldn’t get out of the dirt at all. It’s absolutely disgusting.

“The animals are smothered in faeces. They just don’t know where to go.

“It’s utterly disgraceful to keep animals in these conditions.”

The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit joined Metropolitan Police to execute a warrant at the Bexleyheath property in January after calls from concerned members of the public who had bought puppies from the address in the run-up to Christmas.

“We’d had a number of complaints over recent years about this address but never had enough evidence to act on,” said RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport.

“In 2017, local inspectors dealt with a handful of calls and attended the property but Ms Oxlade wouldn’t let us in.

“People became suspicious of her as they were never allowed outside of the living room of the home – which was kept in pristine condition – and couldn’t see the conditions the animals were being kept in.

“Between the end of November and a few days before Christmas we had six further complaints from the public relating to Basset hounds, dachshunds and a boxer. Sadly, one of the dachshunds died of parvovirus on Christmas Day.”

Many of the animals taken into care by the RSPCA were in a dreadful state.

One Newfoundland was found with seriously deformed legs and couldn’t walk.  Others suffered from severe dental disease, some with docked tails and many had eye infections and ears clogged with built-up hair and wax.

Inspector Lamport added: “These dogs were living amongst absolute chaos, there was filth and mud everywhere, and many of the animals had no access to water.

“Away from all of this mayhem, the living room was kept in absolutely pristine condition. We suspect this is the room in which members of the public were invited to meet their new puppy in order to convince them that the dogs were raised in high-quality conditions.

“The truth of what lay beyond that living room door, was far from the image they painted to the public.”

Co-defendant Glen Hayes who pleaded not guilty is due to stand trial in November 2018.

Sentencing: 
20-week suspended prison sentence; costs of £2,000. Banned from keeping animals for life 

Mirror

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk: Robert J Loombe

#TheList Robert J Loombe, aged 46 at date of offence, of 66A New College Close, Great Yarmouth NR31 7DF – captured on camera dragging a 5wo puppy along the pavement when she was too tired to walk

Dog abuser Robert Loombe of Great Yarmouth

Backyard breeder Loombe was caught on camera pulling the tiny dog named Fatsy on her lead as her stomach rubbed along the ground.

Eye-witness Jade Barker was so upset that she filmed Loombe as he walked past with his two other dogs in Gorleston near Great Yarmouth. She claimed that he reacted angrily and swore at passers-by who urged him to stop dragging along his pet.

Miss Barker later handed the distressing footage to police who tracked down heavily tattooed Loombe at his nearby home and charged him with cruelty.

Speaking to the Metro, Miss Barker said: ‘I saw him dragging this poor little puppy behind him. I said that he needed to pick the puppy up and he told me to fuck off.

‘So I just carried on walking and then saw him still dragging it across the road so its face collided with the high kerb.

‘I just thought it was disgusting so I stood at the side of the Co-op and filmed him for 11 seconds. I was so upset that I was crying my eyes out.

‘He must have been dragging it on the lead for more than 60 yards. It was the cruellest thing I had ever seen.

‘The puppy was shaking and grunting and obviously very distressed. You could see that it didn’t like it and was getting hurt.

‘Five other people came up to him, saying he needed to pick the dog up and he responded with a load of abuse.

‘He must have known he was doing something wrong, but he was shouting at people.

‘He even said that he that he had been pulling it along since he left his house. He said, “You have got to teach it. You have to be cruel to be kind”.

‘The puppy was so young that it should not even have been out of the house, let alone dragged along the ground.’

Miss Barker said she was outraged that Loombe had not been banned by magistrates from keeping any dogs. She said: ‘He had two other dogs with him and it turned out that the puppy came from a litter of seven which he had at his house.

‘His sentencing is a joke. He should have been banned from having any animal. How can any dog be safe with him?

‘I am disgusted with his penalty. The justice system has let him off really lightly. I was told that the police took all his other dogs away – but now it looks like he might get them back.’

Loombe responded to the case on Facebook in this post:

Image may contain: text

Sentence:
£300 fine; deprivation order in relation to the puppy.

Metro

Tomas Evison, Sheffield

#TheList Tomas ‘Evo’ Evison (DoB 24/01/1989) of 157 Woolley Wood Road, Sheffield S5 0UF – admitted  breeding, selling and possessing a number of fighting dogs, who the court ordered to be ‘destroyed’

Tomas Evison and two of his dogs
Backyard breeder Tomas Evison, whose banned breed dogs were destroyed.

Evison appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in March 2017 after admitting to two counts of possession of a fighting dog, one count of selling a fighting dog and one count of breeding fighting dogs. He was sentenced by the magistrates. An order was also made to destroy the dogs.

In July last year, officers from South Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at Evison’s address, where they found a male and female pit bull terrier – dogs which are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The female pit bull terrier was found to be pregnant when officers seized the animals, but Evison disclaimed the litter.

Temporary Sergeant Matt Duffy from the Status Dogs team said: “Evison’s activities potentially put the lives of his family, friends and the wider community at risk by breeding and selling banned breeds.

“His actions could have led to the suffering of other dogs and animals, as well as the potential to cause significant distress to dog owners if their dogs have to be taken from them.

“We are committed to protecting our communities and will always investigate reports relating to the ownership, breeding and/or selling of banned breeds.”

Sentence: 80 hours of unpaid work, 25 days’ supervision, fined £145; banned from keeping, owning or participating in the keeping or selling dogs for five years (expires March 2022).

Newslink:
Sheffield Star

 

Southport, Merseyside: Anna Balintova and Ladislav Balint

#TheList Anna Balintova, born c. 1958, and husband Ladislav Balint, born 11/02/1958 of 54 Skipton Avenue, Southport PR9 8JP – illegally imported dogs into the UK from their native Hungary

Illegal puppy importers Anna Balintova, and Ladislav Balint from Hungary risked bringing rabies into Britain
Illegal puppy importers Anna Balintova, and Ladislav Balint risked bringing rabies into Britain

The pair pleaded guilty to bringing potentially rabid puppies into the UK to sell on Gumtree and Preloved websites.

Prosecutor Fiona Townsend told of how trading standards got involved after being contacted by a concerned member of the public.

There are strict regulations on bringing pets into the UK for commercial purposes but Mrs Townsend explained to the court that provision is made for European citizens to carry up to five of their own pets provided they are issued with a Pet Passport which confirms the ownership and identity of a pet and whether it has been inoculated against rabies.

She said that Balint and his wife had returned to Hungary where one Chihuahua and four pug puppies were given passports on March 18, 2016. The couple then made the crossing with the puppies to Kent four days later.

“Advertisements in relation to the puppies imported by the defendants were placed on the local Gumtree and Preloved websites on March 21,” she said.

“A warrant was executed and the puppies were seized at the defendants’ address.”

The puppies are understood to have cost £400 each and were advertised for £880 each in the UK. They did not go to quarantine and went straight to the Skipton Avenue address, the court heard.

The puppies were 10-12 weeks old when they were seized meaning that they were approximately 7-9 weeks old when they were registered and too young for a rabies vaccine to be effective. None of the puppies had rabies.

Sentencing:
Three year conditional discharge; council costs of £1,126.26 plus victim surcharge.

Champion News

Leanne Fallow, Middlesbrough

#TheList Leanne Fallow (DoB 22/09/1977) of 56 The Greenway, Middlesbrough TS3 9NF – allowed three Serbian Mastiffs to live in such appalling conditions their fur fell out and their skin turned red raw

Leanne Fallow and the puppies she neglected.
Greedy backyard breed Leanne Fallow kept puppies in such atrocious conditions they developed mange.

Fallow, a mother-of-five and already a grandmother at aged 39, left her pets in an appalling state of neglect. Having been alerted by a picture posted to Facebook, officials visited  Fallow’s home where they found three Serbian Mastiffs suffering huge discomfort. The dogs’ fur had fallen out and their skin had turned red raw, a condition so agonising they began to bite their own flesh.

“Two vets have certified that animals in this case have been suffering substantially,” said John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA.

“They were suffering from mange and had been self traumatizing themselves (by) scratching themselves and biting themselves and had thereby suffered secondary bacterial infection.”

He added one puppy was in a “very bad condition”, adding: “She had areas of skin that were open and sores and lots of crusty areas on her face.

“Her paws were swollen and inflamed – the inspector was very concerned about the way the animals were being kept.”

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard the puppies’ mum, Sheba, was “underweight” and along with her puppies had a untreated “terrible skin condition.”

But the prosecution claimed Fallow used Sheba to breed several puppies, a process Mr Ellwood said was “highly suspicious”.

“The defendant claims not to know how her bitch became pregnant and who the father of her puppies was,” he said, adding Fallow claimed she gave away “a number of” puppies to strangers by the time the investigation launched.

The RSPCA say she allowed the dog to breed to sell the dogs on, with the court hearing she had spoken on Facebook with a banned dog dealer to flog the pups.

“The defendant’s account appears to be that a large dog became pregnant and she does not know where or why and that she gave away some of the puppies to people she does not even know or remember,” added the prosecutor.

“This appears to be a lie.

“She has on her Facebook a photograph or the mother of the puppies in her outhouse with a large male Serbian mastiff with mutilated ears.”

That mutilation was often carried out with Stanley knives in the breed to make them look “fierce”.

This was first noticed by kindly Glynn Dack who helped raise the alarm after believing to have seen the “mutilated” puppies’ father with Sheba.

He took one puppy home last August after spotting their awful condition to try and nurse it back to health, despite having no intention of keeping it.

But Fallow, who her solicitor claimed was an “animal lover”, came around to take it back.

However he was concerned enough to raise the alarm to the RSPCA, who also received reports from others, including a Middlesbrough Council officer, with police seizing the animals who have since recovered.

In January 2017, the Fallow admitted four offences of causing unnecessary suffering, with Mr Elwood adding she caused “prolonged neglect” for commercial gain.

Sentence: 12 weeks’ custody, suspended for a year; £250 costs, £180 vet costs and a £115 charge; deprivation order for family dog Sheba; banned from keeping animals for 5 years (expires February 2022).

Newslink:
Gazette Live

Torquay, Devon: Hayley Perry

#TheList Hayley Perry, born 13/07/1966, of 329A Teignmouth Road, Torquay TQ1 4RS – eight severely underweight dogs rescued from her two-bedroom flat

Convicted animal abuser Hayley Perry from Torquay Devon and two of the dogs rescued from her care

Perry, a former breeder of Akitas, Huskies and Eurasiers operating under the name Saxonike who previously lived in Marldon Road, Shiphay, was disqualified from keeping dogs after eight animals in her care were found to be seriously underweight.

Screenshot of former breeder Perry's Facebook business page
Screenshot of former breeder Perry’s Facebook business page

The court heard that between March 7, and April 4, 2016, Perry failed to explore the cause of weight loss in eight dogs in her care contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.Convicted dog abuser Hayley Perry from TorquayPerry was found guilty of failing to meet the needs of five of the dogs by not providing a suitable environment contrary to Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Convicted dog abuser and former breeder Hayley Perry from Torquay
Hayley Perry changes her appearance frequently

RSPCA inspector Jim Farr said: “People have a responsibility to look after their animals properly and to make sure all their needs are met and need to ensure they receive the proper veterinary treatment and care when they need it.”

We understand that Perry appealed against the sentence but this was unsuccessful.

Three dogs that remained in Perry’s care after conviction were confiscated. Five other dogs that were previously signed over to the RSPCA were rehabilitated and found new homes.

Sentence:
£1,000 costs; banned from keeping dogs for 10 years (expires January 2027).

Original newslink (DevonLive) removed.

Attila Kovacs, Bristol

#The List Attila Kovacs of Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol – smuggled unlawfully imported puppies into Britain

Attila Kovacs, puppy importer from Hungary
Bristol-based Hungarian illegal puppy importer Attila Kovacs

Hungarian national Kovacs sold unlawfully imported puppies after their history was concealed using false documents.

Kovacs tried to make a business out of selling the pets, after which new owners found they were non-compliant with UK regulations.

Some of the puppies were sick and others were too young to have been given the necessary rabies jabs.

Kovacs pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in a commercial practice which was a misleading action.The 36-year-old also pleaded guilty to engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence.

The recorder Mr Ignatius Hughes QC told Kovacs: “You did what you did to make money from selling puppies.

“Your business was organised to an extent.

“You were advertising for sales online, you were meeting people, you were giving information as though it was true.

“Much of it was far from the truth.

“Money changed hands and dogs were too young or too ill or non-compliant with regulations in the UK to be kept at home.”

Sentence: 12-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work; victim surcharge of £60.

BBC News