Upminster puppy-breeder admits selling sick and dying dogs

Sick and dying puppies were found locked up at a travellers' site

Sick and dying puppies were found locked up at a travellers' site - Credit: Archant

A family of puppy-breeders has admitted fraud after selling sick and dying puppies.

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A total of 76 dogs and puppies were found in filthy conditions when police searched their headquarters at a travellers’ site, with many of the animals needing intensive care with others suffering from eye and skin infections.

Tony Hammond 34, of Brunswick Avenue, Upminster, and partner Roxanne Montgomery, 33, of Grafton Road, Dagenham, had both already pleaded guilty to making false representations as to the condition of the puppies being sold, intending to make a gain.

Roxanne’s mum Victoria, 54, of Marne Road, Dagenham, initially denied the same offence at Basildon Crown Court but changed her plea to guilty mid-way through the four-week trial.

Teresa Wade, 57, of Ship Lane, Aveley, in Essex, today pleaded guilty to one offence of conspiracy to commit fraud .

Many puppies needed intensive care and some had ongoing problems following issues including parvovir

Many puppies needed intensive care and some had ongoing problems following issues including parvovirus, campylobacter, and infections in eyes, ears and skin - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA launched an investigation into the puppy-dealers after receiving dozens of calls from members of the public complaining about buying sick and dying puppies in Essex.

Undercover investigators then found two houses were being used as front addresses’ to sell the animals from, claiming the dogs had come from loving homes, while they were instead transported from the travellers’ site in Aveley.

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RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, who led the investigation, said: “These dogs were being bred and kept at a travellers’ site until it came time to advertise them online and sell them to unsuspecting members of the public when they were moved to these staged home environments.

“This is a tactic that more and more of these people are using to trick the public and to avoid raising any suspicions, and it’s something we are seeing increasingly in these cases.

“Some of the dogs, which weren’t being bred at the site, were being bought in from elsewhere.

“Many were too young and some coming from unknown circumstances, including a number believed to be from Welsh puppy farms.”

All of the dogs – a mix of poodles, cocker spaniels, cavachons, cockerpoos and golden doodles – were seized by officers and placed into the charity’s care along with one horse, one bird and five cats.

A number of the bitches were pregnant and 27 additional puppies were born in RSPCA care.

Of the 103 dogs in total, four died and courts ordered for all the survivors to be re-homed by the charity ahead of the court case.

Insp Lamport added: “All of the dogs have been successfully re-homed and are now living in good homes with loving families.

“But many needed intensive care and some have had ongoing problems following issues including parvovirus, campylobacter, and infections in eyes, ears and skin.”

The trio will be sentenced on December 8.

A hearing is due to take place on a later date relating to animal welfare offences.

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