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Puppy Dealers Jailed for Selling Sick Imported Dogs

15 October 2015

UK - Three people have been jailed and banned from keeping animals for life after major investigation into the puppy trade. The trio are thought to have earned up to £35,000 a week by importing and selling sick and dying puppies to heartbroken buyers.

Peter Jones, Julian King and Grace Banks used numerous names, fake homes and even set up their own ‘pedigree registration’ company to con buyers who thought they were buying happy and healthy puppies that had been raised in a home environment.

In reality, many puppies were sick and suffering from disease. The bodies of dead puppies were dumped in buckets left in their vehicles.

District Judge James Prowse said all three treated living creatures as nothing more than a commodity, and they did anything in their power to try to maximise their profit.

Five year investigation

Details of the five year investigation by our special operations unit, Greater Manchester Police and the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART) can only now be revealed, after the case concluded at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday (09.10.15).

Our investigation revealed the defendants:

  • received weekly puppy deliveries imported via ferry from the Republic of Ireland,
  • kept puppies at a ‘holding’ address in Stockport, before selling them via several rented residential properties,
  • used a variety of different names,
  • lied to buyers, claiming the puppies for sale were bred in a homely, family environment and were the first litter,
  • set up their own company through which they provided buyers with glossy ‘Kennel Registration’ folders containing false paperwork,
  • used more than 30 mobile phones, each used for selling specific puppy breeds, to avoid confusion when contacted by buyers,
  • dumped the bodies of dead puppies in wheelie bins and a car.

137 dogs seized in total

It was in November 2012 when our special operations unit joined officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) when warrants were carried out at two properties, timed to coincide with a delivery of puppies from Ireland.

They discovered 87 live puppies, including Yorkshire terriers, huskies, West Highland terriers, pomeranians, Labradors, beagles, shih tzus, French bulldogs, cockapoos and more.

The average advertised price for these puppies at the time was approximately £600 each.

The bodies of four dead Yorkshire terrier puppies were found, and one was still in the same pen as a live puppy. The trial suggested the puppies had died from starvation over a prolonged period of time.

Within a week of the warrants, one of the defendants had began selling puppies again using a new company name, and we continued to receive complaints from members of the public who had bought sick puppies.

Another warrant was carried out in June 2013. A further 50 dogs were seized along with several mobile phones with dog breed initials stuck to the backs, Kennel Registration document and more than £6,000 cash.

A trail of heartbroken dog lovers

RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the special operations unit, said:

"From the number of puppies they appear to have been selling, and the prices those puppies were being sold for, we can estimate that these people were making anywhere in the region of £35,000 in cash a week.

"They left a trail of broken hearted people in their wake. People who handed over their money in good faith for what they had been told would be a happy and healthy new member of the family.

"Instead, what many were left with was a huge vet bills and the devastation of seeing a much loved pet go through the agony of disease and sickness.

"This case has lifted the lid on the levels of deceit these people will go to in order to make money without any consideration for the sickness and suffering of the puppies they were selling.

"We’re pleased to say, after treating all those who were sick, the puppies that were seized during the investigation have now gone to loving new homes."

ThePetSite News Desk

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