Conditions at Aveley site were “disgusting”
Two women have been handed suspended sentences for keeping dogs and puppies in dire conditions at a puppy farm in Essex.
Teresa Wade, 58 of Ship Lane, Aveley, and Victoria Montgomery, 56, of Melford Avenue, Barking, both pleaded guilty at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (February 20) part-way through a trial for a string of animal welfare offences.
The duo admitted keeping dogs and puppies in dirty, unsuitable conditions following an investigation into puppy farming by the RSPCA.
Wade pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences and was disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years and was given a five-month prison term, suspended for 11 months. She was also ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Montgomery admitted one animal welfare offence and was given a three-month jail term, suspended for 11 months, and was also ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
When the RSPCA and police executed a warrant at a site in Essex – and two other residential addresses, one in Essex and one in London – officers found 76 dogs and puppies, including poodles, cocker spaniels and some of the popular designer crossbreed types such as cavachons, cockerpoos and golden doodles.
The dogs were seized and placed into the RSPCA’s care and a number of pregnant bitches went on to have 27 puppies in the charity’s centres. Of the 103 dogs in total, four sadly died, but courts ordered for the remaining 99 dogs 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.
“These dogs were kept in dark, damp pens covered in filth. They were in terrible conditions, riddled with worms and fleas, with matted, dirty coats.”
RSPCA investigations determined that while many of the dogs were being bred on-site, a number of puppies were also being imported from abroad.
One of those puppies rescued from this awful life was Khaleesi, now three. She, now lives happily with Jemma and Rob Notley in Horsham, West Sussex.