Category Archives: puppy farmers, kennels and backyard breeders

Puppy farmers, kennels, backyard breeders

Alloa, Clackmannanshire: Elizabeth McLeod

#TheList Elizabeth McLeod, born 07/09/1977, of 1 Lawswell, Alloa FK10 3JD -starved a nursing dog and failed to get vet treatment for her potentially fatal infections; puppies also underweight

Convicted dog abuser Elizabeth "Lizzie" McLeod from Alloa, Scotland, and her emaciated bulldog Cody
Elizabeth “Lizzie” McLeod failed to take her dog Cody to the vet even when she became very ill. The emaciated dog was found in a crate with her puppies and had no access to food or water.

Elizabeth McLeod pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate care and treatment to her dog, Cody, for two months between April 1 and June 1, 2018.

The court heard that the Scottish SPCA had visited McLeod’s home following a tip-off and found a female dog in a crate with puppies. The dog was described as “incredibly thin, with her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones clearly visible”.

Bedding in the crate smelled foul, and stained with urine and faeces. There was no food or water bowl.

Abused and neglected bulldog Cody has recovered from her ordeal. Her cruel owner Lizzie McLeod has now been banned from keeping animal for five years.
Abused and neglected bulldog Cody has recovered from her ordeal. Her cruel owner Lizzie McLeod has now been banned from keeping dogs for five years.

McLeod was told to offer Cody food and water. She ate the food “vociferously, taking large mouthfuls” and drank two full bowls of water very quickly.

Cody had fresh blood on her hind legs and around her vaginal area.

McLeod told the vet she had owned the dog for two years without taking her to the vet.

Subsequent veterinary examinations found Cody to be emaciated with a body score of one out of nine. She had depleted the majority of her fat stores to produce milk for the puppies.

Cody also had a urine infection for which she had to receive an operation. During the procedure she was found to have an enlarged uterus which contained multiple placentas, which had caused infection.

In the vets’ opinion Cody could have gone on to develop potentially fatal septicaemia if left untreated.

Scottish SPCA Inspector Seddon said, “McLeod caused unnecessary suffering by failing to provide veterinary treatment for her dog, Cody, who had a bacterial womb infection and for failing to provide her with proper nutrition which put the health of her twelve puppies at risk.

“When I visited the property, Cody was with her puppies in a cage with bedding that was saturated with faeces and urine.

“Cody was found to be incredibly thin, and after examination, the vet described her as emaciated. You could clearly see her rib cage, spine and pelvic bones and her head looked too big for her body. It was also clear there was obvious discharge and blood around her genital area indicating that there was a medical condition.

“I asked McLeod to feed Cody and she voraciously ate two bowls of food. When water was put down for her she drank two full bowls very quickly and half of a third.

“Upon veterinary examination, Cody was given a body condition score of one out of nine. She weighed 27.8kg and the vet considered that she should weigh around 40kg. Ten of her twelve puppies were found to be underweight too. It was also confirmed that Cody was suffering from a bacterial womb infection.

“Due to her infection, Cody had to have her ovaries and womb removed, where vets found multiple retained placenta from giving birth which were causing the infection. If left untreated, she could have died within days.

“I’m delighted to say that Cody made a full recovery and has found her forever home where she is getting the love she deserves. The puppies didn’t last long in our centre and I’m pleased to say they all found their happy homes too.

“We are glad that the courts have dealt with this case and the sentence passed down.

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

Cody and all the puppies have since been rehomed by the animal charity.

Sentencing McLeod, Sheriff David Mackie told her: “The court accepts there was no will to harm the dogs.”

Sentencing: 12 months of supervision. Banned from looking after dogs for five years.

Alloa Advertiser
The Sun

Sleap, nr Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Marcia Jones

#TheList notorious puppy farmer and serial animal abuser Marcia J Jones, born 16/04/1944, of The Old Crem, Sleap, Shrewsbury SY4 3HE – for appalling neglect of breeding dogs and puppies

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones of Sleap, near Shrewsbury
Cruel and dishonest puppy farmer Marcia Jones from Sleap, near Shrewsbury

Marcia Jones (also known as Marcia Hollins-Jones) was said to have shown “no remorse” after mistreating the animals at her puppy-selling business at the Old Crematorium in Sleap, around nine miles north of Shrewsbury.

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones treated Jack Russell-Terrier cross Pippa's exposed bone and infected leg with Calpol

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones treated Jack Russell-Terrier cross Pippa’s exposed bone and infected leg with Calpol

Jones pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA visited the farm and found dogs with severe bite wounds, cold concrete kennels with urine-soaked carpets and a Jack Russell-Terrier cross with an injury that left her leg bone exposed.

Inspectors found more than 70 dogs at the site when they visited.


Pippa was put to sleep when she was eventually seen by a vet

Pippa, the dog with the exposed bone, was treated with children’s medicine Calpol instead of being taken to a vet. Once she was eventually seen by a vet she was suffering so much she had to be put down.

Dachshund puppies at Marcia Jones’ filthy puppy farm

The court was told that Jones lived in a static caravan on the site and had a licence from Shropshire Council to breed dogs.

A nursing mother and her puppies at Marcia Jones’ filthy puppy farm

The RSPCA investigated her business after concerns were raised by her vet, who had examined three dogs ones presented between August 2017 and May 2018.

The vet believed some of the animals had been injured in fights and had been left to suffer for days.

The RSPCA investigator found 38 adult dogs and 35 puppies at risk.

Inspector Kate Parker said: “The puppies in what Hollins-Jones described to me as ‘the maternity wing’ were particularly at risk in such a cold and damp environment with no heat lamps as required by law.

“There was a prolific failure by her towards animal welfare. She was breeding the dogs for money and that was her key motivation – she has also shown no remorse for her actions.

“In the sad case of Pippa, she was left for at least two days without veterinary treatment. Instead Hollins-Jones decided to give her Calpol.

“She would have clearly suffered from such an awful injury.”

As well as Pippa, Jones was convicted of mistreating two miniature dachshunds named Dexter and Fat Pud’s Pup who both had “severe” bite wounds, including to the latter dog’s eye.

Both dogs have since recovered.

The court was also told Jones has been prosecuted in the past by the RSPCA and in 2001 received a 10-year disqualification order for all animals. Her earlier conviction was in relation to dying and emaciated horses as well as a Jack Russell with an untreated broken leg, which had to be amputated.

In 2005 the BBC’s Inside Out current affairs series showed Jones was still dealing in puppies in a flagrant breach of her ban.

Sentencing:
Ordered to pay £1,600 costs, fined £1,400 and ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for three years, but the ban has been suspended for 28 days while she re-homes the animals she already owns. She was also banned from applying for a breeding licence for 10 years.

Whitchurch Herald
Whitchurch Herald

Washford, Somerset: Heather Stanton

#TheList hoarder Heather Stanton, born c. 1958, of Barn End, Williton Road, Washford, Somerset TA23 0NU – left several animals to suffer in squalor with untreated health conditions

Some of the pets rescued from animal abuser Heather Stanton from Washford, Somerset
Some of the pets who suffered appalling neglect at the hands of their negligent owner Heather Stanton

Stanton was found guilty of the mistreatment of 11 dogs, including a sheepdog, a Jack Russell Terrier, Chinese Crested type dogs and Pomeranian type dogs.

Some of the pets rescued from animal abuser Heather Stanton from Washford, Somerset

The animals had a number of conditions including eye and skin infections which were not treated.

Stanton was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a white lionhead rabbit by confining the animal to the detriment of his wellbeing, to which she had pleaded not guilty.

Stanton pleaded not guilty to causing suffering to a white domestic cat but was again found to be guilty.

She also admitted to the mistreatment of a tortoise and six birds in her care.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel said: “This was an upsetting case of extreme neglect for which there can be no excuse.

“Stanton had more animals than she could cope with and was unable to care for them adequately, as a result sadly many of the animals were suffering.

“All owners are responsible for meeting the needs of the animals in their care and we now look forward to finding these animals the loving homes they deserve.”

Sentencing:
Fined £5,000 and £85 costs. Community order of 80 hours of unpaid work. Disqualified from owning dogs, cats, birds and tortoises for five years under the Animal Welfare Act.

Somerset County Gazette
SomersetLive

Ambleston, Pembrokeshire: David Thomas

#TheList puppy farmer David Thomas, born born 31/12/1944 , of Wallis, Ambleston, Haverfordwest SA62 – failed to care for 25 Labradors, allowing them to suffer unnecessarily and live in a “filthy and hazardous” environment.

Some of the 25 puppies found at David Thomas's derelict farm

The dogs and puppies were denied access to food and water, and were in danger of injury and disease

Thomas pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences.

The court heard Thomas failed to provide a suitable environment for 25 dogs, caused unnecessary suffering to five puppies by failing to explore their poor conditions, and caused unnecessary suffering to five dogs by failing to give them appropriate veterinary care for an infection involving their feet.

The dogs – found on the derelict farm – were 19 puppies and six adults.

One puppy was sadly found dead.

The 25 dogs were removed and given immediate treatment.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “When I arrived I just remember thinking what an appalling situation this was. It was dire. These dogs and puppies were kept in filthy and hazardous conditions. They were denied access to food and water, were in danger of injury and disease, and did not have the necessary comfort in terms of shelter and bedding, and were not free to exhibit normal behaviour, by being kept in the dark with poor ventilation.

“The puppies looked thin, dehydrated and were cold, and there was evidence of caked faeces on all the puppies’ feet, and all their claws were overgrown.

“It was just horrible and just so sad to see these lovely puppies in just terrible conditions.”

The dogs were taken into the care of the local authorities for rehoming.

Inspector Hogben added: “We’d like to thank everyone who assisted in this case – the police, the local dog wardens, the local vet and Green Acres Animal Rescue.

“We really appreciate all their help in what was a challenging case, due to the numbers of dogs there.

“These dogs and puppies will now grow up in a loving, safe environment where they are given the care and attention they deserve.”

Sentencing: 24-week custodial sentence – suspended for two years. Total of £415 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for life.

Western Telegraph
RSPCA News

Manor Park, Newham, London: Amarpal Singh

#TheList backyard breeder and serial animal abuser Amarpal Singh, born c. 1986, of 6 Banks Way, Manor Park, Newham, London E12 5NZ – neglected 23 dogs and puppies in home reeking of animal urine and faeces.

Filthy conditions at the property where backyard breeder and serial animal abuser Amarpal Singh kept 23 starving dogs and puppies in squalor.
Filthy conditions at the property where backyard breeder and serial animal abuser Amarpal Singh kept 23 starving dogs and puppies in squalor.

Amarpal Singh forced seven alapaha bulldogs and 16 puppies to live in such sickening conditions they became malnourished and underweight.

One of the dogs had to have her tail amputated.

Notorious greeder Singh had already been issued with an improvement notice in 2015, when Newham Animal Welfare Services and police officers found three dogs living in filthy conditions in his back garden.

Singh said he’d clear up the area, and the dogs were taken away.

However when officers visited his home again in November 2017 they found the 23 animals squeezed into the house which stunk of urine and faeces.

Pc Holly Hoare, who led the investigation, said: “After seeing the conditions the dogs were living in, I wouldn’t want any dogs to be living in this way ever again.

“When we went to the address, the puppies were very quiet and unable to interact with us. A number of the dogs were showing signs of diarrhoea and there was little evidence of water or food.”


FILE PHOTO: Alapaha bulldogs are a rare breed. They should be socialised early on in life, and their personalities make them natural guard dogs. 

Pc Hoare added: “They were all living in extremely poor conditions, with excrement that had not be cleared up in a number of days. Some of the dogs were in cages that were too small for them and it was distressing to see them in such a poor state of health.”

Sentencing: 200 hours of unpaid work. Total of £1,360 costs and charges. Banned from dealing in, owning or keeping dogs for just two years (expires December 2020).

Newham Recorder

Skipton, North Yorkshire: James Featon

#TheList puppy dealer James Featon, born c. 1968, of Roughaw Road, Skipton BD23 – kept 23 dogs in poor conditions at a Selby pig farm

Puppy dealer James Featon and some of the puppies rescued from the pig farm where he kept them.

Gypsy traveller Featon pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to dogs after two adult dogs and 21 puppies were found in “disgusting conditions” in pig pens on a farm in North Duffield, near Selby.

Photo of cruel puppy dealer James Featon
Cruel puppy dealer James Featon.

RSPCA officers and North Yorkshire Police visited the farm on 7 October 2017 where the dogs were found living in pig pens.

Cruel puppy dealer James Featon also enjoys hunting with dogs. Photo shows him with a dog and dead rabbit.
When not exploiting dogs for money, James Featon enjoys persecuting wildlife.

The animals were taken into immediate veterinary care. Sadly, only 18 of the dogs survived.

RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who led the investigation, said:

“Some of the puppies were in very poor condition; thin and lethargic with swollen, distended abdomens.

“Three Jack Russell terrier puppies had collapsed.

“Police seized all of the dogs and we rushed them to the vets where a number of the pups were diagnosed with parvovirus – a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.

“They were all hospitalised and needed intensive veterinary treatment but, unfortunately, we lost four because they were so incredibly poorly.”

Eighteen dogs – including spaniels, lurchers and crossbreeds – pulled through and were taken in by RSPCA centres while the investigation was ongoing.

Adult dog found at James Featon's puppy farm
Adult dog found at James Featon's puppy farm

Inspector Cooper added: “Our investigations established that Mr Featon was buying in dogs from Ireland and elsewhere in England, and then selling them on to the public.

“However, he was keeping the dogs in disgusting conditions and had categorically failed to provide veterinary care to those that had fallen ill.”

PC Sarah Ward of North Yorkshire Police said: “I’m very pleased with the result and thankful that we found the puppies when we did, saving them from more suffering.

“They were kept in cold, damp conditions without their mums and most of them were very ill with a number needing urgent veterinary attention.

“Sadly, some did not make it.

“We urge members of the public to only ever buy puppies from reputable dog breeders or adopt a rescue dog from a known charity.”

The dogs – which have all been in RSPCA care during the investigation – were signed over this week and can now be rehomed.
They will be available after Christmas.

Inspector Cooper added: “Unfortunately this sort of thing is something we see all too often at the RSPCA.

“Breeding and selling puppies is big business and with certain breeds selling for hundreds if not thousands of pounds there are a lot of people trying to cash in.

“Sadly, some sellers like Mr Featon will put profits ahead of the health and welfare of the dogs.

“This is completely unacceptable.

Sentencing: total of £460 in fines, costs and charges. Disqualified from dealing in dogs, meaning he can own dogs as pets but isn’t to be involved in commercial activity involving dogs.

StrayFM
Northern Echo

Little Hulton, Manchester: Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas

#TheList Laura Kiseliova, born 14/06/1979, and Raimondas Titas, born 13/03/1981, formerly of Ladywell Avenue, Manchester M38, but believed to have fled to their native Lithuania – imported and sold sick ‘designer’ pets 

Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas outside court and images of puppies they kept in squalor at their home.

Lithuanians Laura Kiseliova and Raimondas Titas kept sick dogs and cats in filthy, cramped cages to sell for thousands of pounds.

They set up an online “puppy farm” called Pets313 and encouraged customers to buy popular breeds like pugs and french bulldogs.

However, when customers went to the couple’s house in Salford, Greater Manchester they were quickly persuaded to take the pets home, unaware that the canines hadn’t received vital injections or veterinary care.

And when they arrived home, the dogs suddenly became ill and lethargic after having been kept in dire conditions in small cages or crates in a garage.

Despite buyers being told they were receiving British-bred pups, they were actually getting Eastern European dogs that had travelled over to the UK on a Pet Passport bought by the Lithuanian couple.

Photo shows pedigree cats in a cramped cage.
Pedigree cats were also found at the property.
Poorly cat found at the property
Photo shows poorly cat.
Many of the cats were in very poor condition.
Some of the dogs were found with sores and scabs on their bodies

Some of the dogs were found with sores and scabs on their bodies

The pair were sentenced to years behind bars at Manchester Crown Court in their absence, as they fled abroad before the hearing on Thursday 13/12/2018. 

They had previously pleaded guilty to a total of 29 charges, including several animal welfare offences.

RSPCA inspectors, police and trading standards found 41 dogs and eight cats when they searched their previous home in Prestwich on November 18, 2013.

They discovered the pair were trafficking dogs under the pet passport scheme, and selling them to members of the public under the company name Pets 313 Ltd.

Officers also found more than 40 pet passports which didn’t match the dogs at the property, suggesting they were passing off trafficked dogs as those bred in the UK.

The dogs who were found included French bulldogs and pugs, as well as pedigree cats, which were being sold for between £800 and £1,000 each.

The pair were charged with a number of offences, including failing to provide them with a suitable environment, and failing to provide veterinary care.

Raimondas Titas and Laura Kiseliova during an earlier court appearance. They have now fled to their native country of Lithuania.

One of the RSPCA investigators leading the operation, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The front room of the property was being used to sell the animals to members of the public but it was when you entered the rest of the house the scale of this operation became apparent.

“There were cages and pens containing different breeds of dogs in almost every room including a litter of puppies in a filthy ensuite bathroom upstairs. In a large garage at the back we found cages of animals stacked on top of each other.

“It was clear there were some cats and puppies that needed immediate veterinary treatment and sadly two of the puppies that were rushed to the vets for treatment later died from parvovirus.

“There was little sign of proper isolation pens for sick animals or biosecurity measures meaning any animal that passed through this place would be at risk of catching and spreading diseases and parasites.

“This was a large money-making operation at the expense of the welfare of the animals and the unsuspecting members of public who thought they were buying healthy, happy puppies.”

RSPCA SOU Chief Insp Ian Briggs said: “It was obvious that this duo were dealing and trading in a large number of animals and that many of them were not receiving the appropriate care and veterinary attention they needed.

“Some of the animals were suffering from problems such as conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis or had sore and infected wounds.”

Most of the animals have been signed over into RSPCA care and have been rehomed.

Chief Insp Briggs added: “We have seen a concerning increase in the number of calls we are receiving about large-scale traders dealing, predominantly, in puppies.

“We are regularly appalled by the conditions we find puppies living in and the stories we hear from owners who have, just days after bringing their puppy home, held their new dog as he died in their arms from preventable diseases and infections.

“Unfortunately, a major factor in this trade is traffickers – such as this pair – bringing in poorly pups from abroad, without the right vaccinations and documents, and selling them to unsuspecting buyers here in England.”

Sentencing:
Kiseliova was sentenced to a total of four years in prison while Titas was jailed for three years and six months. Both were banned from keeping pets for life.

Manchester Evening News
The Sun

East of England: Stolen puppies found during police investigation into activities of a prolific traveller crime gang

Mugshots of nine members of the brazen burglary gang, all of whom come from the traveller community

Nine members of a violent gang of travellers, who committed more than 200 burglaries in 11 months across multiple counties in the East of England region have been jailed for a total of 71 years. 

Gang members would mask their faces using balaclavas and smash or force open doors or windows in broad daylight.

They would don forensic suits in a bid to outwit police and were so prolific that in one day in July 2017 they committed seven burglaries, eight the next, and a total of 50 for the whole month. 

On one travellers’ site Cambridgeshire Constabulary found seven stolen Labrador puppies in the boot of a car as well as an arsenal of deadly weapons. 

Stolen dogs found during police raid on one travellers' site

Nine of the gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary:

Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk – jailed for five years.

John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Joseph Holmes, 21, of Schole Road, Willingham – jailed for four years.

Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Braintree Road, Great Dunmow – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Clay Way, Ely – jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire – jailed for four years.

Richard Oakley, 27, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five years.

Johnny Oakley, 25, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five-and-a-half years.

A tenth man, Simon Oakley, 45, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norwich, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on 31 October following a trial. He was jailed for nine years.

Detective Inspector Craig Harrison, who led the investigation, said: “These sentences reflect the scale and impact of this gang’s offending.

“Every one of their crimes had a victim so the trauma and devastation caused in quite a short space of time was immense. They clearly had no care at all for the impact their offending was having on communities, particularly in south and east Cambridgeshire, which were particularly badly hit, and, indeed, across the region.”

The gang targeted homes in rural areas, where they could make easy getaways and stole high-performance vehicles to give themselves a better chance of out-running police.

Offences were committed across Cambridgeshire including Littleport, Wisbech, Fordham, Burwell, Prickwillow, Dullingham, Ely, Waterbeach, Soham, Abington, Cambridge, Chippenham, Little Shelford, Isleham, Sawston, Hardwick, Willingham, March, Histon, Swavesey, Longstanton, Little Downham, Stow cum Quay, Doddington, St Ives, Stretham, Chippenham, Balsham, Cottenham, Cheveley, Elsworth, Swaffham Bulbeck, Fulbourn, Newmarket, Teversham, Boxworth, Yaxley and Friday Bridge.

Two other men – James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge – were also found guilty of handling stolen goods on 31 October following a trial at Norwich Crown Court. The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery between 12 March and 7 November, 2017.

Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years and Brown eight years.

Simon Oakley, who owns Stratton Quick Fit, a garage and workshop at Elite Business Park, in Salamanca Road, Norwich, had previously admitted possession of a firearm without a certificate and handling stolen goods.

He provided false registration plates and directed others to commit crime. He helped to hide stolen vehicles and pass them off as legitimate.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Daily Mail

Marstow, Ross-on-Wye: puppy farmer Leigh Hancock

#TheList Leigh Hancock, born February 1984, of 1 Old Dry Arch Cottages, Marstow, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6EQ – ran a puppy farm and conned buyers they were ‘family-raised pets’

Illegal Lydney puppy dealer Leigh Hancock was jailed for nine months
Illegal puppy dealer Leigh Hancock was jailed for nine months

Leigh Hanock pleaded guilty to illegally selling puppies and laundering the proceeds of his crimes

The puppy farmer, formerly of Rodley Road, Lydney, Gloucester, was turning out “conveyor belt puppies” which were in poor condition when he sold them.

The court heard Hancock “blitzed” social media with adverts for Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies that were purportedly the result of ‘accidental pregnancies’ but were in fact from the puppy farm he ran from an adapted shed in the back of his former home in  Lydney.

Adult dogs found in Leigh Hancock's back garden in an adapted shed
Adult dogs found in Leigh Hancock’s back garden in an adapted shed

He would say the puppies were socialised with humans, children and other family pets when the reality was they were kept in cages in the shed.

Trading standards officers analysed a series of advertisements that Hancock placed under various pseudonyms.

Prosecutor Rosamund Rutter said: “A hundred adverts were associated with the defendant – and seven mobile numbers.”

Hancock used various email addresses including the name of one of his children on one email. This was ‘to avoid advertising platforms suspecting he was a trader rather than private seller.’

“When analysed it was noted they were worded in a strikingly similar manner, and contained similar grammatical errors,” the barrister said.

Ms Rutter told the judge of members of the public who were looking for family pets and were assured that was what they were buying.

She added that Hancock even told one couple he and his family were ‘heartbroken they had to give the puppy up.’

The offences dated between June 2016 and March 2017 but Ms Rutter told the court that the operation was running before then.

She described it as a “conveyor belt of puppies, in poor conditions”.

Hancock admitted placing 60 advertisements between July 2016 and March 2017 which implied the pups he was selling were from a family home.

He also admitted withdrawing £23,134.56 of ‘criminal property’ from his bank on March 29 2017 when authorities executed a search warrant at his address and he became aware they were there.

Recorder Ben Browne QC told the defendant the puppies were: “A very different proposition from what you advertised.”

“In each case the set up was to make it look like it was, but it was blatantly untrue.”

Sentencing:
Nine months in jail. £1,800 in fines.

GloucestershireLive
BBC News

Workington, Cumbria: Richard Blair-Forster

#TheList Richard Blair-Forster, born 26/12/1995, of 2x Walker Road, Workington CA14 5EX – neglected four dogs, two of whom almost died

Blair_Forster was jailed for starving four dogs and assaulting the RSPCA inspector trying to rescue them
Thug Richard Blair_Forster was jailed for starving four dogs and assaulting the RSPCA inspector trying to rescue them

Richard Blair-Forster, who lives with his mother and sister neither of whom faced charges, admitted neglecting German Shepherds Bailey, Rocco and Denver and Golden Retriever Mia.

Steven Marsh, prosecuting, told magistrates that when RSPCA Inspector Martyn Fletcher visited Blair-Forster’s home he described the dogs as lethargic and emaciated and in need of immediate medical attention.

Mr Marsh said: “The defendant refused to allow the dogs to be removed and the RSPCA inspector had to leave and request police assistance due to threats being made.”

Two of the dogs had to be carried into the veterinary surgery, Millcroft Vets, as they were unable to bear their own weight.

The examining vet found the pets to be considerably underweight, with muscle loss and suffering from dehydration. She estimated the neglect had been taking place for around two months.

Bailey only weighed 15.2 kg instead of the expected 34-43 kg when he was found. It took 25 days of medical care for him to recover before he could go to foster care. It was five days before he could hold his head up and six days before he could stand.

Another one of the German Shepherds had to be hospitalised for 12 days and given treatment such as intravenous fluids.

Mr Marsh said: “The vet said in 17 years of veterinary practice she had never seen dogs as starved as these two. The dogs have gone on to make good recovery.”

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Golden Retriever Mia has recovered thanks to the efforts of the RSPCA and their vet

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Bailey has also recovered since being taken into the care of the RSPCA

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Rocco has also made a good recovery following treatment by the RSPCA and their vet

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Looking healthier: German Shepherd Denver whom the Blair-Forster family had bred from

During a police interview, Blair-Forster told officers he “fed the dogs near-enough every day.” He also claimed he bought their food before he fed himself due to financial difficulties.

Ryan Foley, defending, told the court his client “accepts these dogs shouldn’t have been in that state in the first place, but the cause is incompetent care rather than something more nasty.”

Four dogs were starved by Richard Blair-Forster of Workington but have recovered
Richard Blair-Forster said he fed his four dogs “every other day”.

Mr Foley added the defendant struggled to cope issues in his personal life, lacked maturity and often buried his head rather than deal with problems.

Speaking after the sentencing Inspector Fletcher said: “This result shows how seriously the magistrates have taken this. If you have animals you have to take responsibility for them. Three of the dogs are already in foster care and are doing brilliantly.

“I’d like to highlight the work Millcroft vets did. When we took the first two dogs to them we told each other they were too far gone to be saved. But Millcroft did a sterling job to bring them round. They were as close to death as I’ve ever seen.”

The dogs will now be rehomed by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: 
Jailed for 16 weeks for the animal cruelty offence. He was also given two further weeks in jail for assaulting RSPCA Inspector Fletcher. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animal for 15 years.

News and Star

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