Puppy trafficker banned from owning animals for life

On Monday 21 November puppy trafficker Robert Brownlie, 38, of Wishaw, was sentenced to 240 hours unpaid work and given a £2,880 fine to be paid within four months. He was also banned for life from owning and keeping animals.

Among the charges he pled guilty to were causing unnecessary suffering for failing to meet the needs of a dog and seven puppies in his care, leaving puppies vulnerable to parvovirus and failing to seek veterinary treatment for a sick Cockapoo puppy. He also pled guilty to selling them without a licence.

An undercover Scottish SPCA inspector stated, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the case especially with regards to the lifetime disqualification order. This sentence sends out a strong message to anyone who is involved in the puppy trade that the courts are taking these activities seriously. It is rare that lifelong disqualifications are handed out.  This prosecution was brought about as part of Operation Delphin an on-going operation to combat the illegal puppy trade."

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According to the inspector, the puppies involved have been bred in a puppy farm in Southern Ireland. As all puppies coming from such places they were unsocialised, in poor health and stressed due to the long journey they had to endure.

“Once these pups reach their new owner via the dealers they often develop diseases such as parvo virus and giardia and with specific regard to this case this can result in extremely high vets bills," the inspector added. “Often these pups will die from these diseases. This is extremely distressing for the new owners. Trafficked pups often look fine when they are purchased, but problems will begin to show at a later stage. By which time money has exchanged hands and the selling agent is long gone.

“If you are buying a puppy over the festive period please only go to reputable breeders, a list of breeders can be provided by the Kennel Club. Always view the mother of any puppies that are for sale, where possible it is best to view both parents. If you have purchased a puppy that is showing any signs of illness or distress you should take it to the vet immediately.”

Images by the SSPCA.