£9,000 court bill for illegal dog breeder

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AN illegal dog breeder chose not to buy a £110 licence and ended up with a £9,000 court bill.

Mandy Goodwin (43), of Surfleet Road, Spalding, appeared before town magistrates last week and admitted two offences of breeding dogs without a licence.

One involved breeding more than five litters between April 4, 2010 and March 16 last year and a second involved selling a pug puppy for £595 to a South Holland District Council officer between July 10-27 last year.

Goodwin was fined £2,000 on the first offence, given no separate penalty on the second, and ordered to pay South Holland District Council’s £7,000 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

She originally pleaded not guilty, but changed her plea before the start of a trial which was listed for three days at the Spalding court.

The council says Goodwin was twice offered the opportunity to apply for a dog breeding licence, which at that time cost £110 plus vet costs, but chose not to do so.

She advertised on the “Epupz” website under the alias Dave Smith at a different address, a property registered to her name. Goodwin bred eight litters during the period covered by the first offence. Breeds included pugs, Dogue de Bordeaux and French bulldog, a type that can be sold for between £600 and £1,000 each.

The council says the pug puppy bought during its investigation has been rehomed with a loving family.

Council licensing portfolio holder Malcolm Chandler said: “This was a very complex and time consuming case, requiring good investigative skills and evidence gathering by officers of the council. Mrs Goodwin was given every reasonable opportunity to apply for a licence and chose to ignore the guidance and warnings given.”

He said the council takes animal welfare seriously.