Animal protection order against Forest of Dean couple

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An Animal Welfare Act order has been issued against a Forest of Dean couple after council inspectors found two dead puppies among numerous dogs kept in dark, dirty, overheated and parasite-infested conditions at their home.

Feces had accumulated in the paddocks of the alleged puppy farm run by Margaret and William Davies of Awre Road, Blakeney, and some dogs had little daylight and little drinking water, Cheltenham magistrates heard Wednesday, December 1.

Solicitor Greg Gordon, representing Forest of Dean District Council, said twelve dogs and two litters of puppies had been removed by council inspectors and more had since been placed in the council’s care.

Margaret and William Davies were not present in court and were not legally represented. An interim order barring them from the puppy breeding operation has been issued by magistrates pending a full New Years hearing.

Mr Gordon said the dogs were seized from Hagloe House, Blakeney because they were suffering from signs of neglect and had been certified as such by inspectors and a veterinarian.

“On July 1 this year, Forest of Dean District Council executed a search warrant at the property and found dogs in four different locations on the grounds of the property.”

“A farm shed had been converted into a kennel and housed two Corgis, three terriers and a Samoyed. in the building.

“The central aisle was surrounded by separate enclosures and covered with used bedding covered in excrement. The concrete floor was covered with a very thin layer of shredded paper. There were no clean or comfortable bedding and there was no access to water.

“These enclosures hadn’t been cleaned for some time and it looked like the dogs were moving from one enclosure to another.

“In a second barn, much worse than the first, with little natural light, there were 12 dogs, four French bulldogs, four schnauzers and four terriers. The bulldogs were in closed enclosures which had even less natural light.

“These dogs were herded in what would be considered overcrowded. There was an accumulation of flies due to the amount of feces in the barn. Only one bowl of water was visible which was also contaminated with feces .

“The entire site had health issues and suffered from a lack of pest control.

“One of the bulldogs had visible problems with his eyes. Inspectors told Margaret Davies that no dogs were to be housed in the second barn and seized all 12 dogs there, who were turned over to the council of district.”

Mr Gordon said the Davies had been advised that criminal proceedings were likely to take place in due course.

Mr Gordon told magistrates that despite improvement notices issued by the District Council, the Davies had done little to comply.

Mr Gordon added: ‘Dogs should be rehomed as it is in the interest of animal welfare.’

“Two Scotties and two corgis were kept in wire mesh enclosures that offered no shelter from the heat or rain and lived among a growing pile of feces.

“In the main house there were five dogs, two of which were seized on the first visit. A Corgi was herded with her litter of eight puppies, one of whom was unconscious and lifeless.

“One of the inspectors picked up this pup and showed it to Margaret Davies, who seemed completely indifferent to its welfare.

“The Corgi and her puppies were in front of an Aga in July. It was hot.

“There was a cage in a back room, which was poorly lit and poorly ventilated. Two Schnauzers were housed inside, each with their litter of puppies. A heat lamp rested on top of the cage, making the metal too hot to touch.

“One of these puppies, belonging to a Schnauzer, was also lifeless.”

Mr Gordon alleged the court heard that the next day the Davies had received a Notice of Improvement, but had made little effort to comply with the order. They had provided fire extinguishers and attempted pest control, but nothing else – in fact things had gotten worse with even less potable water available.

Efforts had been made to remove the faeces as they had been scooped up by a backhoe and left in the trough.

Mr Gordon said: “The Davies showed total disregard for properly housing the dogs as there was ample space to do so.

“The cost to the council to deal with this has been around £17,000 which is mainly made up of vet costs as the animals have been placed in foster homes until this matter is resolved. “

The magistrates granted the deprivation of liberty order, which will be formalized during a hearing on January 26, 2022.

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