Man jailed and banned for duping public into buying ill and dying puppies
A MAN has been jailed after admitting a number of animal welfare and fraud offences relating to the selling of Pomeranian puppies.
It is the longest custodial sentence imposed in a case brought by the RSPCA.
Jamie Parvizi, 37, of Stone Chair Lane, Scholar Green, Staffordshire, appeared at Warrington Crown Court yesterday and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Previously he had admitted 13 fraud offences – for making false representations as to the condition and breeding of puppies – and eight concerning animal welfare.
Parvizi was also banned for life from keeping animals. The judge said he had imposed a sentence with ‘the financial and emotional harm’ to the victims in mind. He described the case as one of ‘sophisticated fraud’.
The RSPCA launched an investigation into the sale of puppies in Staffordshire in 2014 after receiving a number of reports and complaints from people who had bought ones who had then fallen ill.
The charity’s officers and police served a warrant at Parvizi’s property in April that year, and a second warrant in July 2015.
RSPCA inspector Jayne Bashford, who led the investigation, said: “We received a flurry of calls about puppies being sold who were falling ill or even dying. From our early enquiries we established that lots of money was exchanging hands and people who were unknowingly buying ill dogs were stuck with huge vet bills.
“The investigation led us to Parvizi’s property in Scholar Green and when we went in with police we rescued ten Pomeranians from the address. We found two adults – a male and a female – shut in a downstairs toilet and a number of puppies in the house. Some were being kept in purpose-built pods in the garden and some smaller, young pups were inside.
“One was collapsed and was severely lethargic and some of the others were in poor condition with discharge coming from the eyes and nose.”
Vets checked all the dogs, many of whom were in poor condition and some of whom were ill, the court heard. They were seized by police and placed in the RSPCA care.
“We do not believe Parvizi was breeding these puppies himself but was importing from abroad and then selling them on,” Ms Bashford said afterwards. “The adult dogs may well have been there so they could be passed off as the parents.
“We’re seeing more and more cases whereby dealers and sellers are going to great lengths in order to convince prospective buyers that the puppies are homebred and have been well looked after, and to dupe them out of their money. That’s why Parvizi has been charged with fraud offences as well as animal welfare offences.”
While all the dogs seized from the property were Pomeranians, other reports to the charity about the address related to breeds such as Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers.
Gareth Warton bought a Pomeranian puppy from Parvizi in December 2014. She became seriously ill on Boxing Day and had to be put to sleep a few days later. He contacted Parvizi who offered him another puppy, but this too died shortly afterwards.
“Within four weeks we had lost two little puppies,” he said. “We were devastated and also £2,000 out of pocket having paid for costly veterinary care over the holiday period.”
Natasha Langmaid, also from Wales, bought her puppy for £650 in March 2014. A few days later it became ill and needed prolonged veterinary treatment. To date, the vet’s bills have amounted to £7,000.
The Pomeranians seized by the RSPCA will now be rehomed.