Suspected 'illegal' puppy farm in Dagenham raided
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 16 December 2019
A suspected "illegal" puppy farm has been raided after neighbours raised the alarm.
Police wildlife officers, estate cops, the RSPCA and Barking and Dagenham Council's enforcement officers seized a number of dogs during the intelligence-led raid on December 10.
A spokesman for the local authority said: "Following concerns raised by a number of residents and intelligence obtained from other agencies, council officers obtained a warrant of entry to a property in Dagenham using powers under the Animal Welfare Act."
Nikita Lawrence bought a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy from the address. She said the house was in "a terrible state" when she visited.
The 32-year old took the pup, named Loki, home after paying £700, but his health deteriorated.
"He was in a poor state. He struggled to breathe. He couldn't hold his urine," she said.
Sadly, Loki passed away in spite of efforts to save him.
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The woman said: "Loki's death has devastated us all. I have four children and the youngest three are heartbroken, they don't understand why their puppy had to leave them.
"Everyday we cry because the house is full of his stuff. He was a spoilt little puppy. I don't want Loki's death to be in vain. I want something positive to come out of this and justice for Loki."
Barking and Dagenham Council's spokesman explained that because of the conditions inside and following advice from the RSPCA, officers removed a number of dogs, taking them to a temporary home while the investigation continues.
"We are unable to comment further as investigations are ongoing," he added.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA accompanied Barking and Dagenham Council and police to an address in Dagenham on Tuesday, December 10 following concerns for the welfare of dogs.
"A number of dogs have been removed from the property and placed in care pending further local authority and police enquiries.
"This is a council-led enquiry and therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment any further at this time."
Barking and Dagenham police said on social media the dogs are being looked after in a safe place following the raid at a "suspected illegal puppy farm".
Breeders producing three or more litters and making more than £1,000 per year have to be licensed by law. Anyone keeping or breeding an animal must also abide by the Animal Welfare Act.