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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

Illegal Puppy Farming Gang Jailed Amid UK Crack-down on Puppy Farming

The gang had reportedly made £500,000 selling sick dogs before they were prosecuted

 

 


Photo copyright RSPCA


Wally David Beaney, Louise Smith, Maria Smith and Charlotte Lauren Byron are all facing prison sentences after being caught selling sick dogs illegally. The alarm was raised by the dogs’ heartbroken new owners, who found that their puppies had passed away from parvovirus just days after being rehomed. Parvovirus is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease, which usually affects the intestines, but sometimes the heart. The majority of cases occur in puppies between six weeks and six months of age.


Three raids were carried out at properties in Kent, during which RSPCA investigators found more than 30 puppies living in dark, smelly conditions and in urgent need of veterinary care. Adult dogs were also seized after being discovered pregnant and with parasites and dental diseases. RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe said that the dogs were being kept in horrible conditions with very poor care, which ‘did not remotely reflect the expectations of the buyers who saw the adverts placed for them.’


In similar news, the Scottish SPCA has also been part of a rescue mission, saving 24 puppies from the low-welfare puppy trade last week. The organisation reported that the puppies had been hidden in the back of a lorry at Cairnryan ferry port, in cardboard boxes without food or water. The puppies also had life-threatening diseases.


‘Thankfully, they were found in time,’ the Scottish SPCA reported. ‘And following veterinary treatment from our vet and animal care teams, they are all on the road to recovery.’


However, it is estimated that their rescue and care will cost around £25,000, which is half of the cost of running the entire Scottish SPCA for a day. RSPCA Operations Case Officer Kirsty Withnall has published a report explaining that, while rescues like this may seem to only scratch the surface of the puppy trade, they are in fact huge wins, with months and sometimes years of work behind them.


‘We're thrilled that the Government has, in recent years, introduced new legislation to crack down on puppy farming here in England and is now investigating how to stop puppy imports,’ she said. ‘We receive thousands of reports relating to the puppy trade each year. We follow up on every single call and while, sadly, some cases don't progress due to a lack of evidence or because witnesses don't want to make official statements, other times we're able to gather enough information to launch a full investigation. This, however, can be a lengthy process and this can sometimes frustrate the public who don't fully understand what needs to be done to ensure an investigation is carried out properly, legally and to ensure that dogs can be rescued and perpetrators can be prosecuted, if appropriate.’

 


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