Puppy dealer jailed for selling sick and dying dogs
A woman who sold sick puppies – some who died just weeks after going home with their new owners – has been jailed for a number of offences.
Grace Banks (DoB: 23/09/86) of Reed Street, Gorton, in Manchester, appeared at Oldham Magistrates’ Court in March facing five offences, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Pet Animals Act 1951 and the Fraud Act 2006.
She was convicted of four offences and sentenced on Friday (6 May) at Manchester Crown Court to a total of nine months in jail. She was also disqualified from keeping all animals for life.
She was sentenced after being found guilty, on 20 April, of four offences and acquitted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a cavachon puppy called Lulu by failing to provide veterinary treatment.
She was convicted of one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy by failing to provide necessary treatment and care for parvovirus and distemper; one offence of failing to meet the needs of nine puppies; one of keeping a pet shop without a licence; and one of dishonestly making a false representation as to the condition and breeding of puppies that she was selling thereby intending to make a gain for herself or others or cause loss to another or expose another to risk of loss.
The RSPCA’s special operations unit (SOU) launched an investigation into Grace Banks and, along with police, conducted a warrant at a property in Buckstones Road, Shaw, in Oldham.
Inside there was evidence of puppies being sold from the address and the body of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy was found wrapped in a bin bag in the boot of a white Mercedes on the drive (pictured above).
RSPCA SOU chief inspector Ian Briggs said: “This case brings to a close a three-year investigation carried out by the RSPCA. During this time, Banks consistently sold dogs in an unhealthy condition some of which sadly died at their new owners’ homes.
“She deliberately set out to mislead buyers into believing that they were buying from a well-established, legitimate and caring breeder when, in actual fact, her sole motivation was acquiring as much money as possible, with no regard to the suffering she caused to the animals in her care, or that of the people who purchased dogs from her.”
The RSPCA launched its Scrap the Puppy Trade campaign in October 2015 following a staggering rise in the number of calls to its emergency cruelty line in connection with the puppy trade.
The animal welfare charity is calling on the Government in England to bring in new, tougher legislation to tackle the trade, and is also working to educate the public on how to buy puppies responsibly and how to avoid falling victim to these rogue dealers and breeders.
The RSPCA and AWF have developed a puppy contract to help people to source and buy puppies responsibly, as well as giving potential buyers advice on what to ask and what to look out for during the process. You can download the contract from the website.
Notes to editors
RSPCA SOU chief inspector Ian Briggs is available for interviews. Please contact the press office to arrange.
A case study of one of the victims is also available from the press office.
Further photos are available from the press office and video is available for download here.
Grace Banks was summonsed to face allegations of five offences:
NOT GUILTY: between October 19 and October 20 2014 caused unnecessary suffering to cavachon puppy called Lulu by failing to provide necessary veterinary care for parvo contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006;
GUILTY: between April 4 and April 8 2015 caused unnecessary suffering to Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy by failing to provide necessary care for parvo and distemper contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006;
GUILTY: between October 20 2014 and April 8 2015 failed to ensure needs of nine puppies were met by failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury, or disease by failing to implement and apply appropriate quarantine, management and health screen to ensure they were healthy when sold contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006;
GUILTY: between April 6 and April 8 2015 kept a pet shop except under the authority of a licence contrary to the Pet Animals Act 1951;
GUILTY: between September 15 2014 and March 1 2015 dishonestly made false representation as to the condition and breeding of puppies that she was selling thereby intending to make a gain for herself or others or cause loss to another or expose another to risk of loss contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.
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