Posted on Thursday 17th May 2012
A Rhydyfelin couple have been prosecuted for two offences relating to the illegal dog breeding practice they ran from their home.
Vivian and Susan Thomas of Heol y Bryn were visited by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Licensing and Animal Welfare officers last January, following concerns about the manner in which they were breeding Italian Greyhounds.
Officers were concerned about the conditions in which a large number of dogs were being kept and also the fact Mr and Mrs Thomas were acting as breeders without the necessary local authority licence.
They were not allowed entry the first time they visited the address last January but, after returning the following day with a vet, the vet was allowed access to the animals.
Subsequent investigations uncovered the fact the couple owned, at the time of the visit, 28 dogs and 10 puppies and they told officers they had, over the preceding three years, produced 24 litters resulting in 89 puppies.
It is a legal requirement that all breeders who produce five or more litters a year must secure a license from their Local Authority. The couple admitted this offence at an earlier hearing at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court, with Mrs Thomas stating her failure to secure a license was down to “complacency”.
On May 3, they appeared before the same court to face a charge of failing to provide an environment in which the dogs were able to exhibit their normal behaviour patterns, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
The couple denied this charge, but were found guilty by the court and were sentenced to a conditional discharge and ordered to contribute £800 towards prosecution costs.
The court was told Mrs Thomas confirmed to investigating officers there were 12 crates in her kitchen area, which usually contained two dogs, who remained in the creates from the time the Thomases went to bed until around 7am, usually a period of eight hours, as well as being confined during other times of the day.
The conditions were also unhygienic and the number of dogs kept in the crates and the time within which they were contained was deemed unacceptable.
Paul Mee, Head of Public Health and Protection, said: “Rare and unusual cases such as this are important as they demonstrate the sheer variety of the work of Public Health and Protection.
“Our officers work in many different ways to protect our communities and this includes animal welfare and the appropriate ownership of animals.
“I hope this case raises awareness of the rules and regulations you must adhere to if you choose to breed dogs, or any animal, and the consequences you face if you fail to follow the law.”
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