Shocking footage released over the weekend shows sick and dying puppies dumped in buckets at an illegal puppy farm in Stockport.
The heartbreaking video has been released by the RSPCA after three puppy dealers were jailed and banned from keeping animals for life today.
Peter Jones and Grace Banks – formerly known as Lily Cooper – and Julian King earned up to £35,000 a week by importing and selling sick and dying puppies to heartbroken buyers.
The trio used fake names, homes and even set up their own ‘pedigree registration’ company to con buyers who thought they were buying healthy puppies raised in a home environment.
Details of the five year investigation – the biggest in RSPCA history – have been revealed after Jones, 32, Banks, 28, both of Reed Street, Gorton, Manchester, and King, 30, of The Links, Hyde, were sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court today.
Footage taken by undercover RSPCA officers shows puppies being delivered from Ireland to ‘holding’ kennels at the rear of a house in Marple Road in Stockport, seconds before police and RSPCA inspectors swooped on the defendants.
The bodies of four dead Yorkshire terrier puppies were found at the property – one in a wheelie bin outside, two in a plastic bucket in the footwell of a car parked on the driveway and one in the utility room, which was still in the same pen as a live puppy.
In total inspectors discovered 87 live puppies, including Yorkshire terriers, huskies, West Highland terriers, pomeranians, Labradors, beagles, shih tzus, French bulldogs, cockapoos and more. The average advertised price for these puppies at the time was approximately £600 each.
RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs, speaking after the sentencing, said: “They left a trail of broken hearted people in their wake. People who handed over their money in good faith for what they had been told would be a happy and healthy new member of the family.
“Instead, what many were left with was a huge vet bill and the devastation of seeing a much loved pet go through the agony of disease and sickness.
“This case has lifted the lid on the levels of deceit these people will go to in order to make money without any consideration for the sickness and suffering of the puppies they were selling.”
King was jailed for six months, while Jones and Banks will serve five months in custody.
Both Jones and King breached their 10-year bans on keeping dogs after previously being successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA for animal cruelty offences.
King must pay £2,500 costs, Jones will pay £2,100 and Banks must pay £4,500.
All three have now been banned from keeping any animal for life.