Joanne Marie Goddard, aged 33, of Cumberland Road, Stapenhill, Burton Upon Trent, appeared at Cannock Magistrates' Court today facing offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2018.
The proceedings were brought by Animal Protection Services, a registered charity that investigates and prosecutes organised animal cruelty. The prosecution follows intelligence-led investigations into the unlicensed sale of puppies in the Staffordshire area.
The court heard how several breeds of puppies were advertised including Cockapoo and Beagle puppies. The prosecution said that Miss Goddard stood to earn around £16,800 from her illegal puppy trading activities.
In her defence, the duty solicitor representing Miss Goddard said that she was operating in business with another individual but she will refuse to provide that name to the court. Miss Goddard said that she did not make any profit personally. The Magistrates' commented that this was an aggravating feature as Miss Goddard was not fully compliant in providing the other persons details and the other person could be carrying on this criminal activity.
Miss Goddard was fined £400 and ordered to pay over £5800 in prosecution costs.
Jacob Lloyd on behalf of Animal Protection Services said: “Trading of puppies without a licence is not acceptable. The undermining of the statutory licensing regime is a risk to animal welfare and consumer protection. The offence was aggravated further by Ms Goddard refusing to provide the details of her business partner."
“The illegal puppy trade has become a low risk, high reward trade and we are determined to ensure that opportunists and organised criminals are brought before the courts to face justice”, Mr. Lloyd added.