Richard Cooke, aged 39, of Drayton Lane, Drayton Bassett, attended Cannock Magistrates’ Court today (27th July 2021) having been charged with 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 two litters of Cocker Spaniel puppies were advertised over a four-month period. The prosecution said Mr Cooke stood to earn around £14,250 from his illegal puppy trading activities.
Mr Cooke pleaded guilty and was fined £345. He was not disqualified from dealing in animals. He was ordered to pay a £5,890.32 contribution to the costs of the prosecution.
A spokesperson 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 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”, the spokesperson added.