An illegal puppy seller who made misleading claims about the animals he sold has been fined following an investigation and prosecution brought by Telford and Wrekin Council Trading Standards.
Kenneth Steven Purchase was ordered to pay a fine of £25,000 and additional council costs of £25,000 at Shrewsbury Crown Court today (January 12). The judge also made a Confiscation Order of £50,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Purchase ‘bought in’ puppies to sell, leading customers to believe that he had bred them when he had not done so. A number of the puppies that he advertised and sold were in such poor health that they had to be euthanised shortly afterwards.
During a six-month period in 2018, at least 95 dogs were sold by Purchase as a result of his misleading advertisements. He made at least £50,000 from the illicit trading.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Enforcement and Transport Councillor Richard Overton (Lab) said: “This has been a complex and resource-intensive investigation and prosecution by the Council’s Trading Standards team supported by their Licensing colleagues and the Council’s in-house legal team.
“Officers had to analyse hundreds of records from a number of sources as Mr Purchase’s record keeping was almost non-existent. But undeterred by this task, they proved the scale and extent of his criminality.
“I hope that this case is a deterrent to dog breeders who think they can remain undetected by trading unlicensed or in an unscrupulous manner.’
The judge, Mr Recorder Hawks told Purchase, “You chose to make money deceiving people deliberately. You knew full well that what you were doing was grossly dishonest”.”
Compensation from the confiscation sum will be paid to victims who purchased dogs believing that they had been bred by Purchase when in fact they had been bought in from other unlicensed breeders.