Category Archives: puppy farmers, kennels and backyard breeders

Puppy farmers, kennels, backyard breeders

Grosmont, North Yorkshire: Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly

#TheList Mandy Allinson, born c. 1967, and Michael Connolly, born c. 1963, both of Fotherley Farm, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5QJ – kept dogs and cats in “squalid and horrific” conditions

Puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Animals in the care of Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly lived in their own excrement in a filthy barn at their farm near Whitby.

The pair admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.

Police and RSPCA inspectors were alerted to the farm after a number of people bought puppies which fell ill or were found to be riddled with worms or fleas.

And they discovered dozens of animals being kept in appalling conditions at what was found to be an unregistered, unlicensed business.

A dog in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like “a big ball of fur”.

He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.

Dogs in the care of puppy farmers Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

The court heard that the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and depression.

Speaking after the hearing RSPCA Inspector Claire Little, who led the investigation, said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public who had bought puppies from the premises and, once home, they’d fallen ill or their new families had discovered they were riddled with fleas and worms.

“This couple were running an unregistered, unlicensed business breeding dogs and they were not properly protecting the dogs’ welfare and health.”

When officers raided the property they found 40 dogs and puppies, three cats and a guinea pig at the address. All of the animals were removed.

“The puppies were all being kept inside the house while the adult dogs were kept out in a barn,” Inspector Little added.

“It was cold, dark, dank and filthy in the barn. Some dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages stacked on top of each other, while other dogs were in disgusting kennels covered in dirt and faeces. It absolutely stank inside the barn, it was hell.

“The dogs were yellow with urine stains and covered in fleas. Many were riddled with worms and suffering from nasty diseases like giardia, campylobacter and coccidia.”

French bulldogs, collies, cocker spaniels, poodles and fashionable crossbreeds, such as cockerpoos, were taken into RSPCA care.

“This couple were clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of designer dogs such as cockerpoos but they were failing to meet these dogs’ basic needs and many were seriously poorly,” Inspector Little said.

“It was overcrowded, the disease control was poor and many of the dogs had matted coats and untreated open wounds. The floor was caked in faeces and water bowls were empty and upturned.

“Some had nasty skin infections and had made themselves bleed from constant scratching. One of the dogs had almost 2kg of matted fur removed.”

Grim conditions at the puppy farm run by  Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly from Grosmont, Whitby, North Yorkshire

A guinea pig was found in a cage in one barn and three cats were found running loose in another barn on the site.

Sentencing: 10-week prison term, suspended for a year. Banned from keeping cats for seven years.

Gazette Live
BBC News

Norwich: Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer, Zoe Rushmer

#TheList Norfolk puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, born 14/06/1992, his partner Zoe Rushmer, born 10/02/1993, both of Poppys Place, The Street, Norton Subcourse, Norwich NR14 6RR, and Zoe’s brother Michael Rushmer, born 09/10/1991 of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ. Also Jean Boyes, born c. 1951, of Church Farm Barns, The Street, Norwich NR14 7DW

Puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, his 'deputy' cocaine addict Michael Rushmer, and his sister Zoe Rushmer all of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Clockwise from left ringleader Jacob Murphy, his ‘deputy’ cocaine addict Michael Rushmer, and his sister Zoe Rushmer.

Greedy and callous puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer kept 74 dogs and puppies, many of whom were sick or dying, in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C.

Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Some of the puppies on the illegal puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich

The gang made £300,000 from selling dogs they claimed had been bred in a family environment.

But some of the “sickly and diseased” puppies died within days or cost their owners thousands of pounds in vet bills.

The trio admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Judge Andrew Shaw described it “as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time”.

The RSPCA, which brought the case, said the animals were kept in “disgusting conditions” at Home Farm, Low Road, Thurlton. The charity removed 74 dogs, some of which were pregnant and had 20 puppies.

Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Puppies on the puppy farm run by Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Some of the animals suffered from the potentially fatal parvovirus but were advertised as being healthy, socialised and treated for worms and fleas.

Dogs had an average price of £675 and the defendants made £300,000 from the fraud, though they claimed it was nearer £150,000, prosecutor Hazel Stevens said.

She described how when one of the premises was raided in 2017, dogs were found in cages, some in “pitch-dark sheds with no access to light” and others “in a caravan at temperatures of up to 30C”.

Puppy farmer Michael Rushmer of Norwich
Dogs and puppies suffered so that this loser could feed his cocaine habit.

Mitigating, Andrew Oliver said Michael Rushmer was a cocaine user and “foolishly” bought dogs from travellers, which introduced parvovirus to the farm.

Michael Rushmer has been selling puppies online since at least 2012
Michael Rushmer has been selling puppies online since at least 2012
Some of the puppies sold by Michael Rushmer on Facebook
Some of the puppies sold by Michael Rushmer on Facebook

At sentencing, Judge Shaw described Murphy, who admitted three animal welfare offences, as the “ringleader”, while Michael Rushmer was “[Murphy’s] deputy if not his equal”.

The latter also admitted 10 animal welfare offences, offending while on bail, and operating a pet shop and breeding establishment without a licence.

Four kids have this for a mother …

Zoe Rushmer would meet buyers with her four children, now aged between four and 10, and was the “legitimate face” of the criminal enterprise run by her brother and her partner.

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
Eyebrows to rival Grouch Marx’s

Rushmer was said to be remorseful and admitted four animal welfare offences.

Judge Shaw told her: “It’s only your children that have spared you from going to prison.”

Jean Boyes admitted the same fraud charge but only once took a litter of seven puppies to be inoculated and received a two-year conditional discharge.

David Green had the charges against him dropped.
No smoke without fire. The charges against David Green were dropped. Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it though.

Conspiracy charges against David Green, born 09/11/69 of Homebred Lane, Loddon, Norwich NR14 6UY , and Carole Rushmer, born c. 1960, and also of Home Farm Low Road, Thurlton, were dropped in February 2019.

Conspiracy charges against Carole Rushmer, pictured far right with Zoe and Michael Rushmer, were dropped
Conspiracy charges against Carole Rushmer, pictured far right with Zoe and Michael Rushmer, were dropped

Judge Shaw said the fraud, which began as early as 2015, “strikes at the very heart of this nation’s love for its pets, dogs in particular”.

“To sell sickly and diseased dogs, so poorly that many do not survive, is about as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time,” he said.

After sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Amy Pellegrini described the farm as a “puppy factory”.

“Families thought they were buying puppies who had been bred and reared in loving family homes but in reality they had been bred in disgusting conditions with little regard for their health or welfare but simply how much money they would bring in.”

Sentencing: Jacob Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work. They were all banned from keeping animals for life. Jean Boyes was given a two-year conditional discharge.

BBC News

===
On Friday 28 June 2019 “remorseful” Zoe Rushmer was hauled back before the court after Judge Andrew Shaw became aware of disrespectful social media posts she had made about the case. In one post she was pictured wearing the balaclava she wore outside court while boasting that she would “wing it”. Another showed her gloating about her “freedom” after being given a suspended prison sentence

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
FB post by Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer of Norwich, Norfolk
Rushmer celebrates the judge’s (appalling) decision not to send her to jail.

The judge expressed concern about the balaclava photo, saying it “indicates someone who’s hoping to get away with it”.

Puppy farmer Zoe Rushmer was summoned back to court after  making disrespectful social media posts about the court case

Sadly he decided not to increase her sentence, telling her: “”I’m not going to further your sentence but you need to understand that I came very close to doing so.”

Burnhope, Durham: Kevin Knox

#TheList puppy farmer Kevin Knox, born c. 1959, of The Grove, Burnhope, Durham DH7 0AH – sold poorly puppies without a licence to unsuspecting buyers

Puppy dealer Kevin Knox of Burnhope, Durham
Kevin Knox, who was previously exposed in a BBC documentary on puppy farming, has finally ben sent to jail and has also been hit with a huge tax bill

Kevin Knox, who traded as Ivy Leaf Kennels, sold puppies which buyers complained were sick on three occasions, while not in possession of a pet shop licence.

Two of those sales were made to customers who had responded to adverts placed under the false name of Graham Thompson.

Knox has now been jailed for eight months and given a five year ban from operating a pet shop, following a prosecution by Durham County Council.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Knox was a partner in Ivy Leaf at a premises elsewhere in the village, under a pet shop licence, until March 2018.

A judge was told that the council’s animal health team investigated beyond this date and concluded that the premises was still being run as a pet shop despite a licence no longer being in place.

Evidence was found of Knox advertising on the pet shop’s website and other online sales pages using a false name.

The court heard how in June 2018, the council received a complaint of a puppy, having been purchased via the Ivy Leaf website, becoming ill on the day of purchase.

Enquiries revealed that the purchasers contacted the business and spoke to Knox.

They then attended the Ivy Leaf site where Knox’s business partner showed them a selection of puppies and sold them one.

Further enquiries revealed that the defendant bought microchips and that he took 33 puppies in to vets between June and August 2018.

Knox pleaded guilty to two charges at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court in March – operating without a pet shop licence and giving false information as to his identity.

The sentencing hearing was told how Knox’s licence had been due for renewal in December 2017 and how he had taken until the February of the following year to seek this.

However the council refused the application in April 2018. The business had considered appealing but chose not to.

At the time, it had 30 dogs on the premises and the court heard Knox panicked and did not know what to do.

He accepted he could have called the council to ask but did not. Knox chose to sell the remaining puppies without a licence and used a neighbour’s name, although receipts were given in the name of Ivy Leaf.

The judge was told Knox had since lost his business, his house and his wife; broken his ankles and was in receipt of Universal Credit.

Sentencing: four months in prison for the offence of giving false information and one month for not having a pet shop licence, with these to be served at the same time. He was given a further four months in prison for breaching a suspended sentence. Five-year ban on operating a pet shop.

Chronicle Live

Milwich, Staffordshire: Esther Titterton

#TheList fraudulent puppy dealer Esther Rachel Titterton, born c. 1992, of Wheatlow Brook, Milwich, Staffordshire, but has also lived in Oak Road, Stone ST15 8NG

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that soon developed serious health problems.

Esther Titterton was jailed for 18 months after admitting illegally breeding and selling puppies using fake Kennel Club paperwork.

Titterton was also charged with the breeding of dogs without a licence, sales of puppies without a pet shop licence and consumer protection offences.

Up to 39 puppies, many with health problems, were seized from Titterton’s home.

An advert placed on Pets4Homes by dishonest puppy dealer Esther Titterton
Titterton used online classified websites to advertise puppies for sale. This is one of her ads.

Trading Standards officers also found false vaccination certificates, which along with the Kennel Club papers were used to dupe customers.

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Titterton admitted 13 charges of fraud and was jailed for 18 months. All the puppies have since been re-homed.

Titterton pleaded guilty to 11 charges of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for herself and two others relating to an item used in the committing of fraud and her business being used to commit fraud.

A Facebook post from a customer of Esther Titterton
A Facebook post by someone unlucky enough to be duped by dishonest puppy dealer Esther Titterton. In this case the little puppy, Bailey, did not survive. According to this post, Titterton used an alias (typical puppy dealer behaviour) and also had an accomplice.

Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team said it worked with the Animal, Plant and Health Agency, police and the RSPCA to investigate Titterton after a complaint about her business activities in June 2017.

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Esther Rachel Titterton

Titterton had been operating from her home, a farm in Milwich, and checks revealed it was not licensed to sell pets or breed dogs. The owner of the farm was not involved with the investigation.

Most of the puppies were cockapoos and health problems with dogs from so-called puppy farms is a common occurrence, trading standards said.

Sentencing:
Jailed for 18 months.

BBC News

Abbey Hulton, Stoke: Alex Johnson

#TheList backyard breeder Alex Johnson, born c. 1989, of Elmsmere Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST2 8EFT – banned from keeping dogs after police found videos of him allowing canines to jump up and bite padded arm sleeves.

Backyard breeder Alex Johnson from Stoke-on-Trent has been banned from keeping dogs for five years

Police officers launched their investigation when a dog that Alex Johnson was looking after bit a woman’s arm, leaving her with puncture wounds.

It led them to videos of the defendant allowing a dog to scale a fence in pursuit of a toy and another of a dog jumping up and biting an arm sleeve as a whip was cracked to the floor.

Backyard breeder Alex Johnson from Stoke-on-Trent has been banned from keeping dogs for five years

But Johnson – who also works as a dog photographer and bare knuckle fighter – says the footage was linked to his involvement in organised dog sports.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard the woman was bitten by a Bully XL called Loyal at 2.30pm on June 16, 2018.

Prosecutor Tom Griffiths said: “The defendant told it to sit and when she went past, it bit her on the arm.”

Staffordshire Police applied for Johnson to be hit with a five-year dog ban – and backed up their application with three videos featuring Johnson and dogs.

Backyard breeder Alex Johnson from Stoke-on-Trent has been banned from keeping dogs for five years

One of them featured a Dutch Herder which the defendant said had been with the Slovakian army. Footage showed Johnson walking up and down with the dog as it displayed its ability to understand commands. It was also seen to run towards a man with a padded sleeve which the animal bit onto while a whip was being cracked.

Another video showed the defendant wearing an arm sleeve which his own dog jumped up to bite. Another clip showed Johnson’s dog on a treadmill.

Mr Griffiths said two of the videos showed the animals being atagonised.

Commenting on the clip of Johnson’s own dog, he added: “He wants a reaction and he’s trained it to be aggressive. He is not a fit and proper person to have dogs.”

The court heard Johnson has also bought into a company specialising in canine supplements. He says the footage of the Dutch Herder was put together because he was selling the dog and one buyer had requested to see more of the animal’s training.

He said: “The dog was as friendly as anything and was not a protection dog. All I did was keep up her training. She was friendly and everyone on the estate loved playing with her.”

Referring to the videos of his own dog, Johnson said: “I have had no issues with her. It’s ridiculous to say she’s trained to fight, anybody that knows anything about that breed knows they are not for fighting, she is a Pocket Bully. I breed small versions of Bullys.

“The whip crack is so they are not scared. When I go to seminars I always take her with me. All our puppies are used to different noises so when they go to new homes we don’t get complaints.

“My training is basic and the bite side of things I go to seminars. The training I do is obedience – sit, stay and heel. I go to organised events.”

Johnson admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control on Priory Road, Abbey Hulton, on June 16.But a trial was held regarding the possible disqualification.

District Judge Timothy Boswell said: “The footage shows the dogs behaving in ways that are dangerous and the way you are encouraging them to behave potentially makes them dangerous, by encouraging them to jump up and bite.

“You and other men are having to wear arm sleeves – people don’t normally walk up and down the street with an arm sleeve in case a dog bites them.

“The dogs on the footage are behaving in dangerous ways and it is appropriate to disqualify you from having custody of a dog for five years.”

Sentencing: 40 hours of unpaid work; £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Stoke Sentinel

Wednesbury, West Midlands: Usman Khalid

#TheList Usman Khalid, born 04/01/1994, of Old Park Road, Wednesbury WS10 – banned for life from keeping animals after his emaciated dog died shortly after giving birth to 16 puppies

Backyard breeder Usman Khalid from Wednesbury, West Midlands, failed to get treatment for his distressed dog after she gave birth. Of the litter of 16 just one survived.
Backyard breeder Usman Khalid from Wednesbury, West Midlands, failed to get treatment for his distressed dog after she gave birth. Of the litter of 16 just one survived.

Backyard breeder Usman Khalid was found guilty of two animal welfare offences after failing to get veterinary treatment for Dogue de Bordeaux crossbreed Jinx after she gave birth to a huge litter of puppies.

Backyard breeder Usman Khalid from Wednesbury, West Midlands, failed to get treatment for his distressed dog after she gave birth
Sole surviving puppy Winnie has recovered from her ordeal and been rehomed but her mother Jinx (inset) died a horrific death thanks to the neglect of Usman Khalid

The court heard that three of Jinx’s puppies had been still-born and one was crushed during birth. Eleven other puppies had died days later.

Jinx, who was said to be “skin and bone”, was found by a concerned member of the public motionless and crying in a kennel at Khalid’s home. She was unable to stand and was suffering with diarrhoea. Her mammary glands were severely ulcerated, which meant she could not provide her puppies with the milk they needed to survive.

They tried to pick her up but she screamed and moments later fitted and died in their arms.

The member of the public took Jinx’s body to a nearby vets – along with the one surviving puppy, Winnie – and the RSPCA were contacted.

Winnie received emergency treatment but was so gravely ill she was not expected to survive the night.

But the brave pup pulled through and has now made a full recovery and has been rehomed by the charity.

Inspector Nicola Johnson, who led the investigation, said the puppies’ bodies were never found.

She continued: “When I saw Jinx’s body it was quite clear she was emaciated with her ribs clearly visible and she had awful ulcers on her mammary glands which would have been very painful.

“If she was taken for treatment when the problem first arose I am in no doubt she would have have survived.

“As we never found the puppies we were unable to establish how they died.

“This has been a terribly upsetting case to deal with but I would like to say a huge thank you to the members of the public who got involved by trying to help the mum and pup, alerting us to what they had found and bravely giving evidence in court which meant we could get some justice for Jinx and helped her pup Winnie survive.”

Sentencing: 200 hours of community service; total of £585 costs and charges. Banned for life from keeping animals.

BirminghamLive

Thurcroft, Rotherham: Wayne and Joanne Glasby

#TheList backyard breeders Wayne Glasby, born 01/12/1981, and Joanne Glasby, born c. 1968, of Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft S66 – illegally docked their dogs’ tails causing them pain

Joanne and Wayne Glasby subjected tiny puppies to a painful and illegal tail docking procedure
Joanne and Wayne Glasby subjected tiny puppies to a painful and illegal tail docking procedure

Former butcher Wayne Glasby, who is originally from Worksop, and wife Joanne Glasby pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and removing whole or part of a dog’s tail.

The pair used docking rings to remove four terriers’ tails when they were around six-weeks-old.

Andy Cash, for the RSPCA, told the court that the couple’s offending came to light when they advertised three terriers for sale online.

“By chance, a person who was looking at these photographs [in the advert] had a history as a vet and she thought she could see a docking ring and referred the matter to the RSPCA,” said Mr Cash.

The RSPCA visited the Glasbys on November 30, 2018, and found four puppies, aged around six to seven weeks, with docked tails.

Mr Cash said a vet who inspected the dogs assessed that the operation had not been carried out by a qualified practitioner and took the view that it had been an “act of mutilation”.

“It was likely to have caused unnecessary pain which is anticipated to have lasted a few days,” said Mr Cash.

When Wayne Glasby was interviewed by police he admitted owning the puppies but denied docking their tails.

He said the operation had been carried out by a vet, but when efforts were made to trace the practitioner, it was discovered no such vet existed.

Joanne Glasby told officers she was also responsible for the puppies and denied knowing who was responsible for docking their tails.

“She thought it was just what was done to terriers,” said Mr Cash.

The Glasbys’ lawyer told the court her clients had rehomed all of their terriers ahead of the court hearing but still had a 12-year-old lurcher whom they were hoping to rehome within their family. She said the proceedings had had a traumatic effect on the couple.

The pair also have a smallholding where they keep a pony, sheep and lambs and the presiding judge expressed concern over the welfare of those animals.

Sentencing: 150 hours of unpaid work; £600 costs each. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Rotherham Advertiser

Newcastleton, Scottish Borders: Dawn and Louise Marie Hillbeck

#TheList backyard breeders Dawn Veronica Hillbeck, born 06/08/1993, and partner Louise Marie Hillbeck, born 21/08/1995, formerly of Whisgills, Newcastleton TD9 and more recently 8 Cambridge Road, Bromborough, Wirral, Merseyside CH62 7JA – arranged for illegal ear cropping on an American Bully puppy

Breeders Louise Hillbeck and partner Dawn Hillbeck and Russia, the puppy they had mutilated and left to suffer in pain.
American Bully puppy Russia was found to be in pain after evil greeders Dawn and Louise Hillbeck, now of Bromborough, Merseyside, arranged for his ears to be mutilated

Dawn and Louise Hillbeck, who traded under the name Becks Bullies, admitted being involved in the ear cropping of a puppy named Russia. The pair pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges as a sheriff described the operation on Russia as a “butcher’s job”.

A vet who inspected the wounds of the pup said it had been carried out for “cosmetic” purposes and added it was “needless mutilation”.

Dawn Hillbeck pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to prevent the ear flaps being removed on a puppy under her care.

Louise Hillbeck admitted permitting Russia to be taken out of Scotland for the prohibited procedure.

The offence happened when the women were breeding American bullies – which sell for £5,000 each – at their then home in Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told that ear-cropping was banned in most of Europe but was still allowed in the United States.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser explained that the American Bully was a new breed established in the 1990s from an American Pit Bull Terrier and an American Staffordshire terrier.

He said: “They are very strong looking dogs and some owners have their ears cropped for cosmetic reasons which makes them look mean and aggressive.”

Mr Fraser said the Scottish SPCA received information that the Hillbecks were involved in ear-cropping and went to their home in Newcastleton in April 2018 when they found Russia had recently had both earflaps removed.

He explained a nylon-type material had been used to stitch the wounds but they had been put in too tightly, the wounds were red and the dog looked in pain.

Mr Fraser said: “They failed to seek veterinary treatment for the wounds. One vet referred to it as cosmetic needless mutilation.”

The fiscal added he would be seeking an order disqualifying the women from owning animals due to their behaviour.

Russia was signed over to the Scottish SPCA during the investigation.

Louise Hillbeck (left) and partner Dawn Hillbeck ran a dog breeding business where profit was placed well above animal welfare
Louise Hillbeck (left) and partner Dawn Hillbeck ran a dog breeding business where profit was placed well above any concern for dog welfare

The women claimed the idea to ear crop the dog came from the co-owner, John Paton of breeding operation New Generation Bullies, who said they would need to do it for Russia if the dog was to do well in American Bully display shows.

Dawn Hillbeck’s lawyer said his client had been told the ear-cropping could be done in Poland where it was legal, but it was not stated in court where the operation had actually happened.

He said: “The pair have been naive in this to a certain extent. They were also told it would be good for the hygiene of the dog as well.

“They have learned their lesson. Disqualifying them from owing animals would be disproportionate.”

The court was told that Dawn Hillbeck owned four dogs and a horse which she would have to give up if she was banned.

On studying pictures of the dog’s wounds Sheriff Donald Ferguson described them as a “butcher’s job” and said the women knew full well it was illegal and the dog had suffered.

He added: “This was totally wrong and this animal suffered. On top of that you were doing it for profit.

“At the end of the day you were looking after this animal and it was your responsibility to look after it within the law and on a proper basis.”

Afterwards a Scottish SPCA spokeswoman said there was a growing trend in ear-cropped American bullies.

She explained: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case.

“Two years ago we didn’t have a single American bully in our care. However we are now seeing a worrying increase in the number of these dogs seized as a result of our investigations.

“The recent increase is entirely down to the current trend to own these dogs as a status pet.

“In the UK any surgical procedure carried out for purely aesthetic purposes is illegal. Ear cropping is one of these procedures.”

Sentencing: one-year Community Payback Order of 80 hours of unpaid work; five year disqualification order from breeding or dealing with animals. Dawn Hillbeck is allowed to keep her four dogs and a horse subject to Scottish SPCA or RSPCA inspection.

Border Telegraph

Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire: Tina Harris and Stuart Ward

#TheList backyard breeders and puppy traders Tina Harris, born February 1985, and Stuart Ward, born February 1986, both of 82 Main Street, Barton under Needwood, Burton-on-Trent DE3 8AB – prosecuted for breeding without a licence

Greeder Tina Harris and her partner Stuart Ward sold English bulldog puppies via Facebook and online classified sites like Pets4Homes

Stuart Ward and Tina Harris, of T&S Four Paws Limited, were raided by Trading Standards and Environmental health on March 6, 2018, after someone complained about a puppy sale.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s investigation found the business had a licence to sell the dogs, but didn’t have one to breed them.

Ward and Harris pleaded guilty to not complying with their licence conditions along with breeding puppies.

Puppy dealer and illegal breeder Tina Harris from Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Puppy dealer and illegal breeder Tina Harris

Harris admitted failing to keep a record of each puppy’s date of birth, arrival and sale.

She also admitted falsely marketing a West Highland Terrier as a pedigree animal on September 10, 2017.

And Harris entered a guilty plea to using “false contact details as if (she) were a private seller” on the Pets4homes website.

Sentencing:
Ward received a 12 month community order and has been ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and attend 9 sessions for reading & writing skills. He was fined £1,275.41 with £81.00 surcharge to court.

Harris also received a 12 month community order and has been ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work. She has also been fined £1,275.41 with £81.00 surcharge to court.

Both have been disqualified from having or obtaining a pet shop licence and breeding licence for 2 years. Over £2,500 in cash was seized during the raid, which will be retained to cover the Council’s costs.

StokeonTrent Live
Derbyshire Live

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.

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