1st March 2024

Caerphilly TS brings welfare case

A Caerphilly man has been fined and banned from keeping animals after pleading guilty to animal welfare offences.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

A man who caused unnecessary suffering to his dogs has been fined and banned from keeping animals for five years thanks to action by Caerphilly Council Trading Standards.

When officers executed warrants at the home of Simon Hobbs (46) of Caerphilly in June 2023, accompanied by a vet and officers from Gwent Police, they found six dogs in the kitchen, including three French Bulldogs being kept in a very small cage.

The dogs, including Belgian Malinois Jinx who was pregnant at the time, were found in appalling conditions (image credit: Caerphilly Council Trading Standards)

Conditions in the kitchen were cramped, overcrowded and uncomfortable with lack of space to play, toilet and feed. The dogs shared one food tray and two bowls of water. One of the dogs, a pregnant Belgian Malinois, was significantly underweight. Ten days after the visit she gave birth to eight puppies.

An Akita was found in an outside lean-to wooden kennel in direct sunlight, with no soft bedding. Temperatures recorded early in the day exceeded 26 degrees — the maximum accepted temperature for dogs.

Three dogs were found with conditions which caused them unnecessary suffering due to a lack of veterinary intervention and management.

The dogs were removed and placed into the care of Hope Rescue, who provided intensive care to the Belgian Malinois and her puppies.

On 8 February, Hobbs pleaded guilty at Cwmbran Magistrates Court to seven charges of failing to meet welfare needs of dogs under his care to the extent required by good practice and three charges of causing unnecessary suffering contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Hobbs was fined £360 and ordered to pay costs of £7,884 plus a victim surcharge of £144 and a five-year ban from keeping all animals.

Sara Rosser, Operations Manager of Hope Rescue Centre, said: “We were pleased to be able to support the hard work of Caerphilly County Borough Council with this case. It was shocking to see so many dogs living in such awful conditions.

“The dogs needed vet treatment and specialist care — one of the dogs who especially touched and saddened us was the Malinois, who we named Jinx. As well as being in an awful condition, she was pregnant. We were very concerned that she would not have the strength to give birth and care for her litter but thanks for the hard work of the Hope Rescue Team, all eight puppies survived, and Jinx is now thriving.

“We are delighted that most of the dogs have already found loving new homes.”

Councillor Philippa Leonard, Caerphilly Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Animal welfare is a high priority for the authority and this prosecution should act as a deterrent to others who fail to meet the needs of animals and cause them unnecessary suffering.”

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