Tag Archives: puppy dealer

Heysham, Morecambe, Lancashire: Daniel Brockhill

#TheList Daniel Brockhill, born 21/02/1968, of 16 Robin Crescent, Heysham LA3 2WG – for cruelty to two ponies

Daniel Brockhill from Heysham and one of the two horses he neglected
One of Daniel Brockhill’s neglected horses was underweight, depressed and riddled with lice

Brockhill, a Romany gypsy and alleged backyard breeder of diseased Staffordshire bull terriers, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies

The first animal, a dark brown cob mare, was left with a ‘stinking open wound’ caused by the tight bridle rubbing her, as well as a small cut to her nose, and areas of fur missing on the face.

The second animal, a black and white piebald cob mare, was spotted wandering in the field “aimlessly” in a dull and depressed state.

The weak and malnourished pony was not very responsive and had an elevated heartbeat and temperature. She was riddled with lice and eggs that had been present for at least 10 days, and had fecal staining on her hind legs indicating serious diarrhea.

The court was told Brockhill had only bought this pony three weeks earlier.

Prosecuting, Paul Ridehalgh told the court that a worker from World Horse Welfare had attended a field in the Twemlow Parade area of Heysham where 13 horses were kept. Most were in good body condition, but one had a bridle that was “clearly too tight” around her nose.

Mr Ridehalgh described how the worker went to loosen the bridle and discovered “a red raw open wound” under the pony’s chin. The collar had become embedded within the hair and skin and a bad smell was emanating from the wound.

The charity worker alerted the RSPCA, and when another inspector attended they became concerned about the other horse who looked too thin.

Mr Ridehalgh added: “It was displaying extremely worrying behaviour and clearly was extremely unwell.

A veterinary surgeon who examined the animals concluded both had been caused suffering by Brockhill’s failure to act.

Despite her painful injury, the first horse was bright, alert and responsive But the second was scored just one out of five on her body condition – zero being emaciated.

Brockhill agreed to sign over both horses to the RSPCA.

The thin horse gained 8kg in the four weeks she boarded with the charity

Horse abuser Daniel Brockhill

During an interview, Brockhill admitted he owned both ponies but claimed he had only owned the malnourished one for three weeks.

He said he had when he arranged transport to a field in Skipton the horse was weak and could barely walk, and that he was “appalled” by her condition.

When it was pointed out that she should have been referred to a vet, Brockhill said he was experienced in keeping horses and it was his opinion the horse just needed a ‘good feed’.

The court heard Brockhill had a conviction for animal cruelty from 2002, but of dissimilar nature.

District Judge Paul Clarke said there had been a “high level of suffering”, but recognised Brockhill had co-operated with the RSPCA.

He remarked it wasn’t “deliberate cruelty”, adding: “It comes down to competence and horse husbandry.”

Sentencing: curfew; a total of £690 costs and charges. No ban.

The Visitor

Annan, Dumfries-Shire and Bishopbriggs, Glasgow: Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell

#TheList puppy farm dealer Marco Tondo, born 18/10/1987, currently of 18 Shawfield Court, Annan, Dumfries-shire DG12 6JB but with links to the Shettleston area of Glasgow, and partner Nadine Campbell, born 07/12/1988, of 39 Colston Avenue, Bishopbriggs G64 1SL – sold sick puppies and ran an illegal ‘pet shop’

Scottish puppy farm dealers Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell
Puppy farm dealers Marco Tondo and Nadine Campbell pictured outside Glasgow Sheriff Court

Wannabe gangster and alleged drug dealer Marco Tondo kept several dogs in cramped conditions at partner Campbell’s address in Bishopbriggs in October 2018.

The Scottish SPCA said the puppies were suffering from a number of serious health problems, including worm and flea infestations, parvovirus and coccidiosis – a parasitic infestation.

Investigating officers determined they had come from “suspected puppy dealers”.

Five puppies were sold at the “pet shop” where eight other young dogs were kept.

Two dogs had to be put down, one of which had suffered organ damage. Other dogs there were also poorly and underweight.

Scottish puppy farm dealer Marco Tondo

Tondo, who shares a baby daughter with co-accused Nadine Campbell, was set to face trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court but pleaded guilty to a charge of causing “unnecessary suffering” to the puppies.

Tondo and Campbell both admitted to operating a pet shop without proper authority involving the selling of five puppies and having eight other young dogs.

Scottish puppy farm dealer Nadine Campbell

The court heard Tondo put Jack Russell and Chihuahua puppies up for sale on Gumtree.

Two buyers came to the property in Bishopbriggs, where Campbell was living.

Tondo told them not to feed the puppy on the journey as it would be “sick due to travel.”

He claimed one dog had been wormed but failed to forward the paperwork to the buyers. It was later discovered that the puppy had not been wormed or microchipped.

The buyers paid £350 and Tondo did acknowledge that the puppy was “unwell” – it later vomited in the buyers’ car and its health deteriorated.

The puppy was taken to the vet for dehydration where its breathing became “laboured” and died.

Tondo could not be contacted and his phone appeared “out of service.”

The court heard of another incident when a vet and her daughter bought a dog from Tondo.

The vet noted that the dogs didn’t show typical puppy behaviour and were underweight – she also noted there was no food, beds or blankets for the animals.

The vet later bought the dog after discussing it with her daughter and was told by Tondo that the puppy had been vaccinated and microchipped.

The dog’s health deteriorated as it became dehydrated and was passing clear watery fluids.

The puppy was taken for veterinary treatment but did not respond to its medication.

A third puppy was then bought on October 21, 2018, at an address in Larbert, Stirlingshire.

Prosecutors said the dog – who also had fleas – then “collapsed, was pale and had a fever”.

Vets found it had signs of “organ damage”. The dog died on October 25, 2018.

A fourth puppy later sold also needed vet treatment.

The charge stated a number of puppies at the address in Bishopbriggs were “confined in a small cage” and others in a garden were “underweight”.

Despite all of this neither Tondo nor Campbell were banned from keeping animals an outcome with the Scottish SPCA greeted with disappointment.

An undercover special investigation unit (SIU) inspector said: “Whilst we welcome and respect the court’s judgment, we would have liked to see Tondo given a ban on owning or keeping animals. His disregard for the welfare of numerous dogs led to several puppies becoming unwell and, in two sorry cases, passing away.

“We became aware of Tondo and Campbell following reports by concerned members of the public who had purchased puppies from them that had subsequently become very ill and, sadly in two instances, passed away.

“Working on intelligence we were able to determine that both of the accused were supplied puppies from an unidentified puppy dealer, but failed to keep any form of register of sales carried out.

“Our investigation led us to the home of Campbell. With a warrant, we discovered evidence to support that they were selling puppies on behalf of a third party without the appropriate licence.

“The pups have come from suspected puppy dealers. These people are driven by profit and often have no regard for animal welfare.”

The inspector added: “The puppies were suffering from a number of serious health problems including worm and flea infestations, parvovirus and coccidiosis, a parasitic infestation. Tondo’s failure to provide veterinary care for these animals would have led to immeasurable suffering.

“Not only did they put the dogs in their care at risk but due to the contagious nature of the diseases the puppies had, they put domestic dogs in Scotland at great risk.

“This has been heart-breaking for the families who bought the puppies from the couple. Not only did it result in large veterinary bills, but also a lot of stress and heartache.

“Tondo has overlooked the most basic welfare standards in order that they can profit at the expense of these animals.

“This case shows that not only are we targeting puppy farmers but we are also taking on those buying puppies from dealers with successful results. This is a reminder that we will not overlook anyone involved in this barbaric trade.”

Sentencing: Marco Tondo was ordered to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work in the community while Nadine Campbell was tagged for three months for selling the pups from her home address without a licence. No ban on keeping animals was imposed on either of them.

Glasgow Evening Times
BBC News

Wallacetown, Ayr: Carol Willis

#TheList unscrupulous puppy dealer Carol Louise Willis, born 10/07/1970, currently of Kings Court, Ayr KA8 0AD – kept ‘production line’ puppies in stacked cages at her squalid Barrhill farmhouse; sold diseased and genetically damaged dogs online to unsuspecting buyers

In July 2018, 17 puppies were taken on welfare grounds from unlicensed dealer Carol Willis by the Scottish SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Their visit followed reports by whistleblowers of puppies being bred and kept in atrocious conditions.

It was said that Willis had handed the dogs over voluntarily and to date, no prosecution has followed.

An SIU spokesman said at the time that Willis was ” keeping dogs in poor conditions and we believe their welfare was seriously compromised.”

He added that the Scottish SPCA had received reports of “animals suffering from illnesses and tiny pups being attacked by other dogs because they were made to live on top of each other.”

Willis handed over the dogs voluntarily and, more than 18 months later, has not been prosecuted by the authorities.

Earlier in 2018 Scottish newspaper the Daily Record reported how Willis had sold a one-eyed, seriously ill pug to a mother-of-three from Cairnryan, Wigtownshire, despite the animal urgently needing veterinary treatment.

Willis then tried to persuade Lisa Lochhead to sell on pups for her, making them look like they came from a loving family home – a favourite tactic of puppy farmers to mask the fact that they are churning out pups from a production line.

Lisa fell in love with the poorly pup, Buddy, after seeing an advert online and felt she had to rescue him from hellish living conditions. She was so desperate to save him that she borrowed cash to pay for him.

But Buddy was so over-run with mites that all his fur had fallen off. A vet confirmed he was suffering from demodectic mange as well as giardia, an intestinal problem associated with dirty, cramped conditions. This made his stool bloody and full of worms.

Buddy later lost his second eye after it burst in front of Lisa’s horrified children.

Lisa managed to talk the price down from £550 to £100 after Willis asked her to sell on dogs from her house.

Lisa has since spent hundreds of pounds on vet bills. She has also been contacted by the buyer of Buddy’s sister, who also suffered from dire skin problems.

Lisa said: “I would say that the moment I saw Buddy, I felt I had to save him from this woman. He is such a loveable wee character and the fact he lost an eye hasn’t stopped him have a big personality.

“Carol Willis told me that Buddy lost an eye after being attacked by a French bulldog she was selling, then almost lost the other eye after being scratched by his sister.

“That’s what happens when all these dogs are bred in cramped conditions. She shouldn’t be doing it.”

Lisa had hoped to see the pup with his mother before taking him but Willis repeatedly insisted on meeting at Asda car park in Girvan, Ayrshire, where she turned up with a van full of dogs in cages.

She said: “She didn’t want me anywhere near her home. I couldn’t believe that she was wanting £550 for a dog in that shape but I was determined to rescue him. Willis was really keen for me to take dogs from her and sell them as though I had bred them from my home.

“When she found out I was from Cairnryan, she started asking if I knew anyone who did ferry trips to Ireland, so I presumed she was thinking about bringing in pups that way too.”

A few days after the SIU’s raid, Willis offered to sell a Daily Record reporter a pug pup for £850, claiming she could get the dog microchipped the same day.

Willis denied her dogs were being kept in poor conditions. and told the reporter: “The SSPCA said there were too many dogs, they didn’t say they were being badly looked after.”

Willis has since moved from Lochend Farm in Barrhill, Girvan, to a flat near the Wallacetown area of Ayr

While the Daily Record said that their expose had made it impossible for Willis to continue trading, we have been sent screenshots of two recent Gumtree adverts that are believed to have been placed by Willis:

Sadly, the public have short memories and we have also heard that Willis does not operate alone. She almost certainly has a network of people around her that will allow her to continue to ply her barbaric trade.

Rochdale, Greater Manchester: Gusztav Petrovics

#TheList Roma gypsy Gusztav ‘Guszti’ Petrovics, born 04/08/1988, originally from Pécs in Hungary and currently of 20 Abingdon Close, Rochdale OL11 – kept 27 dogs stacked up in their own faeces and urine with no food or water.

Dodgy breeder/importer Gusztav Petrovics from Rochdale and some of his dogs
Obvious backyard breeder/puppy farm importer is obvious: Guszti Petrovics from Rochdale and some of the dogs stacked up in cages inside a filthy shed.

Petrovics was found guilty in his absence of two animal welfare offences at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on November 18, 2019.

Dodgy breeder/importer Gusztav Petrovics from Rochdale kept dogs in grim conditions
Conditions inside the metal shed where Petrovics kept the dogs were grim and inhumane

The court heard the RSPCA were called to Petrovics’ home on January 24, 2019, following concerned calls from members of the public.

When they visited the home, Petrovics confirmed he owned a large number of dogs, and allowed RSPCA inspector Danni Jennings to see them.

Dodgy breeder/importer Gusztav Petrovics from Rochdale kept dogs in grim conditions

She was shown inside a closed metal shed in the back garden, where there were seven dog crates full of dogs and puppies piled on top of each other.

In total there were 10 female adult dogs, one male and 15 puppies – all Dachshunds – with one female terrier-cross.

An expert vet who joined police and the RSPCA on the raid confirmed that the dogs were not being looked after properly.
They were seized by police, the court heard.

Petrovics said during his interview that he had imported the dogs from Hungary, where he grew up, and planned to give the puppies to friends.

Dodgy breeder/importer Gusztav Petrovics from Rochdale

Inspector Jennings said: “The smell from the shed was apparent as soon as we were in the back garden. These dogs were kept in cramped conditions in cages which were stacked on top of each other.

“They were lying in their own faeces and urine – and the smell from the shed was evident as soon as we went onto the back garden. There was also no water or food in the cages for the dogs. The conditions were absolutely appalling.

“The puppies were immediately signed over into RSPCA care and have been rehomed. Following the conclusion of the case the RSPCA has taken the adult dogs into our care and they too will be rehomed.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order. Ordered to pay £1,000 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Five-year ban on keeping animals.

Rochdale Online

Dronfield, North-East Derbyshire: Sansha and Peter Lamb

#TheList puppy farmers Sansha Niomi Lamb, born 08/05/1980, of 1 Draycott Place, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RY, and her father Peter Lamb, born 26/10/1949, of 72 Ashford Road, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RT

Sansha Lamb (pictured) and her father Peter Lamb kept 24 starving dogs in filthy conditions on their puppy farm.

Sansha Lamb admitted 12 offences and her father Peter Lamb admitted 11 offences relating to the dogs at Unstone House, on Whittington Lane, at Unstone, near Dronfield S18 4DQ.

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Prosecuting solicitor Deborah Cartwright said the puppy farm was raided by animal health officers from NE Derbyshire District Council on January 9, 2019, with RSPCA officers and a vet after complaints had been received about concerns for the animals and officers had visited the site.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “It’s frankly – in the 30 years I have been involved in criminal law – one of the worst cases I have come across in terms of systematic neglect, selfish behaviour and the abuse of animals for commercial gain.

“It is clear to me that the problems in the period of January 2 to 9 covered by the charges were not isolated to that period of time.

“It’s also clear to me that Miss Lamb and to a lesser extent Peter Lamb should not have had anything to do with the breeding or keeping of animals.”

He added: “The fact that what was revealed on January 9 when the council, a vet and others went into the premises of Unstone House was frankly a horror story.”

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Ms Cartwright, prosecuting for the council, added that officers found kennel floors and walls covered in excrement and a yard was filthy with faecal contamination and dogs were found with faeces matted into their fur. She told the court the final kennel in one block had the worst conditions.

Ms Cartwright said: “The final one represents the worst conditions and consisted of an enclosed room with doors and windows shut with no ventilation and the heating was left on and as officers entered they were hit by an overwhelming smell of ammonia along with dog faeces covering the whole floor.

“The concentration was such it made the vet gag and it made her eyes burn and she was unable to remain in the room at all until the windows and the doors were open for minutes.”

Ms Cartwright added: “One of the officers was observed outside the room retching badly and he was unable to go in. The dogs inside that room would have experienced the same reaction to the ammonia.”
Investigators also found a whelping box in the house, where both defendants lived at the time, with a pug bitch and two puppies and their pen was covered in faeces and there was no food or water, according to Ms Cartwright.

She added that a further deformed dog approached officers in the hall which was covered in faeces and stank of ammonia.

Ms Cartwright said that officers also found a decomposing pug-type bitch in a dog basket covered in newspaper which had been dead for some time.

Officers discovered 25 mistreated dogs including the deceased pug, German Shepherds, a Dalmatian, Bulldogs, pugs, a Cockapoo, a Cocker Spaniels and puppies.

Many were emaciated or lean, according to Ms Cartwright, covered in faeces and urine, riddled with lice, skin lesions, infections and parasites and some were lame and injured and traumatised by their mistreatment.

Ms Cartwright said Sansha Lamb had been the holder of a licence to breed puppies and she had ignored warnings after visits to the site and she was sent a letter stating her licence had expired.

She told investigators she had mental health issues and she was not aware of the suffering or conditions the animals were experiencing.

Peter Lamb admitted responsibility for the care of the animals.

Ms Cartwright said: “Miss Lamb ignored previous advice and warnings regarding the treatment of the animals and she allowed a person with insufficient experience or training to have care of the animals.”

Sansha Lamb and Peter Lamb both pleaded guilty to nine counts of failing to ensure the welfare needs of dogs and to a further two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs between January 2 and January 9, 2019.

Sansha Lamb also pleaded guilty to breeding dogs without a licence between July, 2018, and January, 2019.

Defence solicitor David Gittins mother-of-seven Sansha Lamb is of previous good character and has been a dog breeder for several years without any previous problems but she had suffered from the breakdown of a difficult relationship and she started using cocaine.

He added that while she had recently been pregnant she struggled with her mental health and she had asked others to assist with the dogs.

Defence solicitor Martin Pizzey said retired parks authority worker Peter Lamb had no commercial interest and he became involved as problems emerged and he was trying to help his daughter.

Sentencing:
Sansha Lamb was given 16 weeks of custody suspended for two years with a 16-week curfew. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Peter Lamb was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 12-week curfew and Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Sansha Lamb was also banned from keeping animals for life and Peter Lamb was banned from keeping dogs for five years.

The Star

Thurlton, Norwich: Carole Rushmer

#TheList puppy farmer Carole L Rushmer, born 08/11/1959, of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ

Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer all of Norwich, UK.
Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer.

Carole Rushmer has been banned from buying or selling dogs for two years for her involvement in a family-run puppy farm.

She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs she kept at her farm in Thurlton in Norwich.

Three other family members – Zoe Rushmer, Michael Rushmer and Jacob Murphy – have already been sentenced for their part in a scam, which netted more than £300,000.

The puppies, which have since been rehomed, showed signs of worms and had fur matted with excrement and burns on their skin, magistrates were told.

The court was told Rushmer’s late husband Michael had started a puppy farm to clear debts and later involved his daughter Zoe Rushmer, her partner Jacob Murphy and later his son, also called Michael Rushmer.

She admitted having provided premises for the puppy farm in Thurlton, though her lawyer said she had been coerced into it and was subjected to violence.

RSPCA inspector Amy Pellegrini, who worked on the case for four years, said some puppies were “emaciated”.

The RSPCA removed 74 dogs including several pregnant bitches, one of whom had 93 puppies.

“Being that age, they were very lucky to be alive in those conditions,” she said, speaking outside court.

“That’s not something that we see every day. To see something like that is very upsetting.”

Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer were sentenced in June 2019 for having sold ill or dying dogs they pretended had come from a family environment.

They kept some of the 74 animals in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C (86F), Norwich Crown Court was told.

Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended jail sentence. They were all banned from keeping animals for life.

Sentencing: 14-week curfew; banned from buying or selling dogs for two years.

BBC News

Brenzett, Romney Marsh: Mark Burgess

#TheList puppy farmer Mark Burgess, born 22/05/1980, of Paddock View, Brenzett, Romney Marsh TN29 0BE – for multiple animal welfare offences.

Puppy farmer Mark Burgess of Brenzett, Romney Marsh, Kent, UK, and some of the animals he allowed to suffer.
Puppy farmer Mark Burgess of Brenzett, Romney Marsh, Kent and some of the animals he allowed to suffer.

A raid on a pet farm – during which inspectors found a puppy frozen in a freezer – led to a conviction for traveller Mark Burgess on eight animal welfare offences.

RSPCA inspectors descended on the Old Ashford Road in Brenzett, near Ashford, following complaints by four members of the public.

The complainants had purchased puppies from Burgess between December 2017 and February 2018, with all of the animals quickly falling ill and dying.

Footage captured during the early morning raid showed soaked bedding, shelters with bare, rotten floorboards and dogs chained to kennels.

In the bodycam video a range of concerns were highlighted, including a cat that was found shivering in a turned-off freezer.

RSPCA inspectors noted incidents of skin disease, claws growing into toepads and cat flu amongst the animals on the farm.

Among the more shocking discoveries caught on camera was the charred corpse of a small animal discovered in a “burner drum”.

Puppy farmer Mark Burgess of Brenzett, Romney Marsh, Kent, UK, and some of the animals he allowed to suffer.

Lead RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport said: “We found a mix of different breeds at the site including beagles, Dalmatians, spaniels and dachshund crosses.

“Some were pregnant, others had litters of tiny puppies while some had clear signs that they’d been used for breeding previously.

“Some of the dogs were extremely frightened and shut down. Some were living in almost complete darkness and others were huddled at the back of their runs.

“One beagle was sitting uncomfortably in a filthy, wet kennel. She looked so depressed.

“When we searched a freezer on-site we made a horrifying discovery; a small, four-week-old puppy.

“The body was frozen rigid and dumped in the bottom of a blood-soaked freezer.”

In total, 20 dogs were found living in unsuitable conditions and were seized by police and placed into RSPCA care – 12 adults and eight puppies.

Two cats and three kittens suffering from cat flu were also seized and later signed over.

An elderly German Shepherd - which it's believed was Burgess' personal pet - was showing signs of skin disease, muscle wastage and weak back legs after being found living outside, tethered to an old wooden kennel.

An elderly German Shepherd – which it’s believed was Burgess’ personal pet – was showing signs of skin disease, muscle wastage and weak back legs after being found living outside, tethered to an old wooden kennel.

The German Shepherd was put to sleep but the remaining dogs were all signed over into RSPCA care and rehomed.

Eight infringements of the Animal Welfare Act were levelled at the 39-year-old, including causing unnecessary suffering to puppies by failing to investigate and address the cause of the animal’s ill health and by selling the animal in an unfit state.

Other convictions include failing to provide veterinary care in respect of a beagle’s eye condition and failing to provide a number of dogs with a suitable environment and diet.

At the sentencing hearing, Burgess’s lawyer Gordon Crow read a letter written by his client.

It said: “You’ve found me guilty of selling three puppies that I should have realised were ill and should’ve taken to the vet.

“I accept your decision and I apologise to all concerned.

“I’ve been brought up around animals and love being around them more than people.

“Since being found guilty it’s been a nightmare.

“I’ve even been shunned by my own traveller community.

“It’s my animals that have given me strength recently.

“I’ve always said I’ll pay the money back to the buyers and I’m sorry for what they’ve gone through.”

District Judge Justin Barron told Burgess: “I found your behaviour negligent in the sense that you sold these puppies and should have further investigated the cause of their illness, identified that illness and not going on to sell them.

“The animals should not have been sold in the condition that they were in.”

He said Mr Burgess’s “standards fell short”.

The RSPCA had requested Burgess should be banned from keeping dogs.

The judge responded: “From the latest evidence I have seen the dogs you are now keeping are well cared for and I do not see there is a need to ban you from keeping dogs.”

The judge described a press release issued after Burgess’s conviction at Canterbury Crown Court in August as being an “emotional statement not appropriately balanced”.

“It led to the impression he had been found guilty of deliberately and gratuitously causing suffering to animals which wasn’t my finding.”

He said the case had led him to consider “whether the RSPCA should continue to conduct its own prosecution”.

Sentencing: two-year community order, 30 days probation, a six-month curfew and a ban on the selling of dogs for two years.

BBC News
Kent Online 23/09/19
Kent Online 13/08/19

Cannock, Staffordshire: Kevin Bramwell

#TheList illegal dog breeder and trader Kevin Bramwell, born 21/02/1957, of John Street, Cannock WS12 2RL

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.
27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell’s business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

Kevin Bramwell, who gave his address in court as Leathermill Road, Rugeley but actually lives in John Street, Cannock, with his partner, admitted 11 charges – eight of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one running a breeding establishment without licence, one of having an unlicensed pet shop and one of fraud by false representation

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

Officers from Cannock Chase Council found 27 dogs and two raccoons inside vehicles and sheds at the premises of KV Plant & Machinery on Power Station Road, Rugeley, Staffordshire, which is operated by Bramwell.

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

They say the animals were overcrowded, surrounded by faeces and flies, and showing signs of disease.

A local vet was engaged to assess them, and they were taken into the Council’s possession.

The authority cared for the animals, some of which required treatment, whilst the Dogs Trust volunteered to find permanent homes for them.

 27 dogs and 2 raccoons were found hidden inside vehicles and filthy sheds with no water or food, at Kevin Bramwell's business premises in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

The subsequent investigation showed that Bramwell was breeding dogs and selling them through several websites.

Adverts were traced back to 2014 and totalled almost £50,000.

By not having the required licences Bramwell was able to operate under the radar.

The Council say Bramwell preyed on unsuspecting members of the public who were unwittingly buying from this illegal puppy farm, in the mistaken belief that he was a legitimate vendor.

Puppy farmer Kevin Bramwell of Cannock in Staffordshire
Puppy farmer Bramwell lives with his partner in Cannock

Councillor John Preece, Environment Portfolio Leader said “To anyone looking to have a puppy, please consider rehoming a rescue dog from one of the recognised charities that specialise in caring for stray or abandoned dogs.

“If you do decide to buy privately or from a breeder, please make reasonable enquiries about the vendor, ensure you see the mother and puppies together at the place where they were born and raised.

“Check for proof of vaccinations, microchipping and worming.

“If it’s a breeder, check they have the appropriate licence from the Council for breeding dogs or selling pets.

”The best outcome from this case is that the 29 animals were successfully rehomed.

“I must thank the Dogs Trust for their support in achieving this.

“To anyone considering operating an illegal puppy farm within the District, this case shows you will be found and you will be prosecuted as demonstrated today.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence for animal welfare and licensing offences and a further 52 weeks for fraud. A minimum 35 weeks of the sentence to be served in custody with the remainder on licence. Disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years with no review for five years.

Signal2
BirminghamLive

Aberdeenshire: Frank James and Michelle Wood

#TheList puppy farmer Frank James, born 05/04/1967, of 105 Coronation Way, Montrose, Angus DD10 9DW, and accomplice Michelle Wood, born c. 1989, of Berrymuir Road, Macduff AB44

Puppy farmer and serial animal abuser Frank James alongside latest accomplice Michelle Wood

Frank James and Michelle Wood caused dogs, ferrets and rabbits suffering at East Mains of Ardlogie Farm near Fyvie, Aberdeenshire AB53 8PH.

East Mains of Arlogie Farm signpost

The Scottish SPCA and police raided the farm in November 2017, removing 105 animals including 87 dogs, the youngest being a few days old.

Inhumane conditions on Frank James’s filthy puppy farm where scant regard was given to animal welfare.

The animals were taken to Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centres for treatment and rehabilitation.

An undercover investigator for the Scottish SPCA described the conditions as “absolutely disgraceful”.

The investigator said: “We believe this was the largest scale puppy farming operation in Scotland.

“The conditions these dogs were being kept in were absolutely disgraceful. It fell far below the minimum standard in terms of animal welfare and, given the environment and sheer volume of puppies, it was immediately evident these were not being kept as pets and the premises was effectively a battery farm for pups.

“Our investigation revealed dogs on site were being intensively bred with little to no regard for their welfare.

“On site, we found a burnt out van which had dog carcasses within, suggesting this was a means of disposing dead pups.”

Golden retrievers rescued during a previous raid on Frank James’s puppy farm

James first came to the attention of the Scottish SPCA in 2011 after selling a poorly cocker spaniel puppy on Christmas Eve. The pup was in such poor condition he had to be put to sleep by a vet the following day. In November 2012 James was banned from having any contact with animals for three years.

A Scottish SPCA investigation into James’s activities in March 2013 led to more than 70 dogs being seized from the same address.

Inspectors found cattle sheds packed with breeding bitches and dogs suffering with lice, skin sores, matted hair and cysts on their paws due to the floor being covered in faeces.

Frank James's two sons, Frankie and Sean James, daughter Elizabeth Sutherland, and daughter-in-law Charlotte James
Family business: Sean James, who was convicted of animal cruelty alongside his father and uncle in 2014, is pictured on the far right with sister Elizabeth James, brother Frankie James of 20 Greenbanks, Bridge Road, Banff. His wife Charlotte is on the far left.

Following the investigation, James’ along with brother Edward James and son Sean James pleaded guilty to welfare offences in October 2014.

Frank James and brother Edward James pictured outside court in 2014

Frank James and his brother were banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years.

Cruel puppy farmer Frank James

Sean James, who was 18 at the time, was ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and banned from keeping more than two dogs for three years

Frank James's daughter Elizabeth Sutherland
Frank James’s daughter Elizabeth Sutherland (DoB 09/05/1992) of Kintore, Inverurie

In September 2016 a planning application in the name of Frank James’ daughter Elizabeth James (now Elizabeth Sutherland of Hillhead Caravan Park, Kintore, Inverurie AB51 0YX) with Sean James as the named agent was submitted to Aberdeen Council for the East Mains of Ardlogie farm to be used as breeding kennels. Following a huge wave of public objections the application was rejected at the eleventh hour.

Undeterred, the James family continued to operate their puppy farm illegally and Frank James flouted his ban on selling puppies.

Sentencing: James was jailed for nine months and banned from owning animals for life. Wood was given 300 hours of unpaid work and placed under supervision for two years. She was banned from keeping animals for ten years.

STV 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 NR14 6PZ. 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. 08/11/1959, and also of Home Farm Low Road, Thurlton, were dropped in February 2019. Carole Rushmer was however convicted of cruelty offences in October 2019 and given a curfew and two-year ban on dealing in dogs.

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 but she was later sentenced for her part in running the puppy farm.

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

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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.”