A Salisbury gardener who sold puppies online has been fined.
Animal Protection Services, which brought a private prosecution against Leonard Greenough, said the “designer” dogs the 38-year-old sold on website Pets for Homes would have been worth around £16,700.
Prosecutor Jacob Lloyd told Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Friday May 15 that Greenough, of Whiteparish, placed nine advertisements on the classified ads website between June and November last year – despite not having a licence to sell pets.
The advertisements were for the sale of cocker spaniel, lurcher, Patterdale cross and “Jackapoo” puppies.
Mitigating, Liz Highams said her client – a self-employed gardener – had previously bred and sold puppies himself as a “hobbyist”, which he was entitled to do under the law.
He was not a puppy farmer, but had listed dogs online on behalf of friends who did not have access to the internet.
She said: “He doesn’t own all of these puppies and therefore any profit would have gone to the owners and not to him. He has to plead guilty to the fact he was selling these [dogs] without a licence.”
Fining him £193 and ordering he pay £234 in costs and surcharge, chairman of the bench Jonathan Furlonger said: “The bench accepts this was an oversight on your part rather than any concerted attempt to go into the puppy farming business, as it were.”
Greenough pleaded guilty to selling animals without a licence.
Mr Lloyd said after the case: “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.”