Puppy breeders prosecuted by Vale of Glamorgan Council
A Bonvilston couple who engaged in illegal dog breeding practices have been ordered to pay more than £450,000 following a successful prosecution by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Karl and Victoria Shellard appeared at Cardiff Magistrates Court where they pleaded guilty to charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
These were brought by Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) who carry out such work for the Vale, Cardiff and Bridgend councils.
The couple were convicted of breeding bulldogs without a licence and on other counts relating to the number of litters produced within a short period.
Breeding dogs were not given enough time to recover, often artificially inseminated soon after delivering a previous litter.
The Court heard that in January 2018 Mr and Mrs Shellard were told that if they had a further litter of puppies they would need a breeding licence and failure to obtain one could lead to prosecution.
They chose not to apply for a licence and a vet concluded that had an application been submitted it would not have been successful.
A warrant executed at the couple’s Bonvilston home in December 2019 found 28 dogs in an outbuilding and a laboratory with equipment including a multipurpose centrifuge machine, microscopes, equipment for storing and collecting semen, and for taking blood.
At another property in the village, officers discovered 24 dogs and a property in North Cornelly was found to contain another six dogs.
It was revealed that the couple bred at least 67 litters between 2014 and 2020, with information on known C-sections indicating 43 litters had been delivered between 2018 and 2019.
One dog named Coco had delivered six litters within a four-year period while numerous others were forced to deliver two litters in less than a 12-month period.
The Shellards’ dogs were registered with five different veterinary practices and litters given different names and addresses to avoid detection by both the Local Authority and Kennel Club.
On sentencing, HHJ Morgan stated that Mr and Mr Shellard chose not to get a dog-breeding licence and the reasons that they gave for doing so were wholly inadequate.
He stressed their breeding practices flew in the face of veterinary advice and though conditions were better than other puppy farms, that was exactly the operation they were running.
The fines handed out were said to reflect their means, with consideration given to their good character and early guilty pleas.
Mr and Mrs Shellard were fined a total of £19,000 each, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £43,775.50 and a victim surcharge of £175 each.
They were also told to repay a total of £372,531.54 within three months in a Proceeds of Crime Hearing or face a two -year prison sentence.
Cllr Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Legal, Regulatory and Planning Services, said: “Careful work by SRS has led to this outcome, bringing people involved in cruel and unregulated animal breeding practices to justice.
“I hope this sends out a message that the Council will not tolerate such behaviour. We will come after anyone involved in this type of activity and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.”