TWO ITALIAN Greyhound exhibitors and breeders have been convicted of two offences relating to the illegal breeding practice they ran from their home.
Sue and Viv Thomas (Francole) of Heol y Bryn, Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, at one time kept 28 dogs and ten puppies in their home and kept them in small crates for hours on end, a court heard.
The pair pleaded guilty to not having the appropriate licence to breed the dogs, but pleaded their innocence on a charge of failing to provide an environment in which the dogs were able to behave normally.
Despite denying the second charge, the couple were found guilty by Pontypridd magistrates, given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £800 court costs.
The Thomases were visited by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s licensing and animal welfare officers in January following concerns about the manner in which they were breeding Italian Greyhounds and the conditions in which a large number of dogs were being kept. They also believed the couple were breeding without the necessary local authority licence.
The officers were not allowed entry the first time they visited the address, but when they returned the following day the vet with them was allowed to see the animals. Subsequent investigations revealed that at the time of the visit the couple owned 28 dogs and ten puppies, and that over the past three years they had bred 24 litters resulting in 89 puppies.
Breeders of five or more litters a year must have a licence, and the Thomases admitted not having one when they appeared before an earlier hearing at Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court. Mrs Thomas said her failure to get one was due to ‘complacency’.
Recently they appeared before the same court to face a charge of failing to provide an environment in which the dogs were able to exhibit their normal behaviour patterns, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act. The couple denied this charge but were found guilty by the court.
Mrs Thomas told investigating officers that there 12 crates in her kitchen area which usually contained two dogs each, who remained in the creates from the time the Thomases went to bed until about 7am, usually a period of eight hours, as well as being confined during other times of the day.
The conditions were also said to be unhygienic and the number of dogs kept in the crates and the time they were kept there was deemed unacceptable.