Council investigation leads to conviction for illegal dog breeding and animal cruelty
An investigation carried out by Buckinghamshire Council into illegal dog breeding and animal cruelty has led to the prosecution and conviction of two individuals.
Hammad Javaid of Charmfield Road, Aylesbury and Louise Lane of Upland Avenue, Chesham, were sentenced in relation to a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, having previously pleaded guilty.
After receiving information from the RSPCA and concerned members of the public indicating that illegal dog breeding was taking place at a property on Charmfield Road in Aylesbury, licensing officers from Buckinghamshire Council obtained warrants to search the property and another property on Bateman Drive in Aylesbury.
On 1 September 2021, a search of the property at Bateman Drive found 24 bull breed dogs kept in squalid conditions within the house and kennels in the back garden. Under veterinary advice, nine dogs, two of which were pregnant, were taken into possession by the council. On 6 September 2021, the RSPCA returned to Bateman Drive after receiving reports that the remaining dogs had been fighting in the garden. Officers found that the dogs had been left loose and unattended in the garden. The dogs had started to fight with each other, sadly resulting in the death of two dogs. The remaining 13 dogs were removed by the RSPCA.
Evidence obtained during the council’s searches, including forensic analysis of digital devices seized at the properties, revealed Ms Lane’s involvement in the illegal activity. Evidence also showed that dogs had been intensively bred, in several cases having had two litters in less than a year and had been subjected to repeated caesarean sections.
Mr Javaid pleaded guilty to charges of unlicensed dog breeding, tail docking, three charges of causing unnecessary suffering and one charge of failing to ensure animal welfare, brought by Buckinghamshire Council. In addition, he pleaded guilty to two further charges of causing unnecessary suffering brought by the RSPCA. Ms Lane pleaded guilty to charges of unlicensed dog breeding, two charges of causing unnecessary suffering and one charge of failing to ensure animal welfare, brought by Buckinghamshire Council.
Both defendants were sentenced at Amersham Law Courts on 11 September 2023. Hammad Javaid received a total sentence of 20 months imprisonment. Louise Lane was sentenced to a total of 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, together with 100 hours community service and 25 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days. She was also required to pay £500 towards the Council’s costs in bringing the case. Both defendants were banned by the Court from keeping dogs in the future.
The dogs removed from Bateman Drive, and the puppies that were subsequently born, were cared for by the RSPCA and Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels. With assistance from these charities, all the dogs have now been successfully rehomed.
Mark Winn, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services said:
“Buckinghamshire Council takes concerns over animal welfare very seriously. We are also committed to ensuring a level playing field for licensed dog breeders who are required to meet good standards of animal welfare. It is important that we take action against cruel and unscrupulous individuals who operate illegally, with no regard for the law or the welfare of the animals they are making money from. This case has been a great example of how officers from this council can work closely with officers from neighbouring authorities and agencies such as the RSPCA to achieve a positive outcome.
“I would advise anyone who is looking to purchase a puppy to carry out appropriate checks to ensure that the breeder is licensed. Councils have a public register of licensed breeders. You should make sure that you see the puppy interacting with its mother and siblings. Puppies must stay with their mother until they are eight weeks old. Ask to see photographs, microchip and vet records to show the person selling you the puppy has been involved in its care for the first eight weeks. If you have any doubts, walk away.”
To report unlicensed dog breeders go to https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/business/business-licences-and-permits/animal-licences/report-an-unlicensed-animal-business/