12th July 2023

Unlicensed dog breeders prosecuted

A Welsh mother and daughters have been prosecuted for unlicensed dog breeding following a Caerphilly Council Trading Standards investigation

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
It was shocking to see so many dogs living in such awful conditions. The majority needed to be completely clipped off by our staff at the centre because their coats were so matted in faeces and urine and many were covered in fleas.

A mother and two daughters from Fochriw who bred dogs without a licence, rearing at least 27 litters over a 2-year period, have been sentenced for unlicensed dog breeding under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Julie Pearce (aged 57), Rosalie Pearce (aged 33) and Kaylie Adams (aged 24) of Glyn Terrace, Fochriw, Bargoed pled guilty on 24th April 23 and were sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on 10th July 2023 for unlicensed dog breeding and failing to indicate in adverts that puppies were being advertised by a dog breeder contrary to The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Daughters Rosalie and Kaylee Adams were also sentenced for failing to protect 54 dogs from pain, suffering, injury and disease and providing them with a suitable environment contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The women were disqualified from owning, keeping and transporting all animals for 10 years.

Julie Pearce received a 52-week suspended sentence; Rosalie Pearce and Kayleigh Adams received 66 weeks suspended sentences. Kaylie Adams was also ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and 8 days rehabilitation activity; Rosalie Pearce 100 hours unpaid work and Julie Pearce 15 days rehabilitation activity.

The sentencing follows an investigation by Caerphilly Council’s Trading Standards team after information regarding breeding of dogs was reported to the authority’s Licensing department.
Officers, assisted by a Veterinary Surgeon and RSPCA Inspectors carried out a search of the property and found 54 dogs, in “appalling conditions” contaminated with faeces and urine. Conditions at the premises were the worst that Caerphilly Trading Standards have ever encountered.

Images taken inside the property show the animals were kept in a ‘filthy environment” at the family’s home. The animals were removed and placed into the care of Hope Rescue.

The court heard the women had been breeding and selling puppies from their home since 2019. Evidence showed between March 2020 and March 2022, 27 litters of puppies were born and up to 28 breeding bitches were kept on the premises. Dogs and puppies were advertised for sale on online selling platforms. A conservative estimate of the profit they made was calculated to be in excess of £150,000. Further action will now be taken against the parties under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

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 Trading Standards with this case. It was shocking to see so many dogs living in such awful conditions. The majority needed to be completely clipped off by our staff at the centre because their coats were so matted in faeces and urine and many were covered in fleas. Some of the dogs were also pregnant or feeding young puppies and needed additional care. After living such sheltered lives many of the dogs also needed extra support in learning about normal dog things such as walking on a lead, travelling in a car and house training. We are pleased to say that all of the dogs have now gone on to find wonderful homes where they have become much loved family members and able to live the lives they deserve.”

Cllr Philippa Leonard, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: “Sadly unlicensed breeders often prioritise profit over animal welfare. Unlicensed dog breeding is a serious matter and it is hoped that the outcome of this case will serve as a strong deterrent to those who operate in this manner. Animal welfare is a priority in Caerphilly and we will not hesitate to seek out and take action against anyone who flouts the law. Proceeds of Crime Act investigations and civil orders for reclaiming the costs of housing and caring for any seized dogs will also be pursued in addition to prosecution and disqualification orders. If anyone is concerned or suspicious of illegal dog breeding please contact our Trading Standards or Licensing teams. Your information will help us tackle illegal puppy breeding in Caerphilly and will help stop animals being exploited by unscrupulous breeders.”

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