Woman fined for breeding dogs for sale without licence

A Stourbridge woman has been successfully prosecuted by Dudley Council under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for running a puppy sale business illegally.

The defendant, Jacqueline Dowling, pleaded guilty to breeding dogs and advertising them for sale without a licence.

While there was no evidence of maltreatment, the breeding, advertising and selling of dogs, primarily English and French Bulldogs, was taken as evidence that she was operating a business and therefore required a licence.

Dog breeding licences allow Dudley Council to ensure that these activities are carried out by suitable person(s) and to undertake relevant checks to ensure that animal welfare and safety is being maintained.

While it was unclear as to how many dogs and puppies had been sold, the court saw Breeders Records from the Kennel Club and evidence of advertisements of puppies for sale in various online publications.

The court was also made aware that the defendant was prepared to provide credit facilities to help a sale. Dudley Magistrates sentenced the defendant to a 12 month community order with a requirement to attend 20 hours RAR (Rehabilitation Activity Requirement).

The defendant was told to pay a fine, victim surcharge and costs which together totalled nearly £3,000, to be paid in 28 days backed by a collection order. Councillor Ian Bevan cabinet member responsible for Environmental Health and Trading Standards, said:

"While there was no evidence of maltreatment of any animals in this case it was still essential that it was brought to court. Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling animals without a licence is illegal.

"Licensing allows us to undertake checks on a business to ensure that all welfare standards are being met and animals are leading healthy, happy and safe lives and I’m pleased we got this outcome which hopefully sends the message to other people that we take animal welfare extremely seriously."


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