Suspended sentence for Barking puppy farmer who kept dogs in dirty makeshift kennels
PUBLISHED: 16:36 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 20 February 2018
A woman from Barking who kept dogs and puppies in dirty makeshift kennels has been handed a suspended sentence.
Victoria Montgomery, 56, of Melford Avenue, was on trial accused of a string of animal welfare offences alongside Teresa Wade, 58, of Ship Lane, Aveley, Essex.
Today, in the middle of their trial at Southend Magistrates’ Court, both women pleaded guilty to keeping the animals in unsuitable conditions.
Montgomery admitted one animal welfare offence and was given a three month jail term, suspended for 11 months.
Wade, who pleaded guilty to three offences, was disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years and given a five month prison term, suspended for 11 months.
Both women were ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
The court heard how the RSPCA launched an investigation into the breeding and selling of puppies in Essex in 2014 after receiving calls from people who had bought pets that had become extremely sick or, in some cases, even died.
Along with police officers, they carried out a warrant at a site in Essex and found 76 dogs and puppies, including poodles, cocker spaniels and crossbreeds.
They were seized and placed into the RSPCA’s care, with 27 puppies subsequently born.
Of the 103 dogs in total, four died but the remaining 99 were ordered to be rehomed ahead of the court hearing.
RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, who led the investigation, said: “The dogs were being bred on an industrial scale at a site in Aveley and were kept in disgusting conditions in makeshift kennels and pens in outbuildings.
“When it was time to sell the puppies - for hundreds of pounds each - they would be moved to two houses being used as front addresses to sell the puppies from.
“The staged houses gave the impression that the dogs were much-loved family pets. The reality was far from that.”
She added: “Many of them still carry the scars - both mental and physical - from this part of their life.
“It’s clear that this gang didn’t have a care in the world for the welfare of these dogs. All they saw when they looked into their dark, sad eyes was a way to make thousands and thousands of pounds.”