Married dog breeder couple who broke animal welfare laws ordered to pay £ 400,000

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A married couple who illegally breed and sell dogs in their country house have been ordered to pay £ 400,000 by a judge.

Karl and Victoria Shellard forced dogs to deliver back-to-back litters after setting up their unlicensed ‘PosherBulls’ breeding service from their home in Bonvilston, South Wales.

The rogue couple of dog breeders were able to take advantage of the growing demand for dogs during the lockdown, selling puppies for up to £ 20,000 at a time.

A court heard the couple had bred at least 67 litters in six years – with a dog named Coco giving six litters over a four-year span.

They have also made up to £ 372,000 selling bulldog puppies to customers through website and social media ads – and have over £ 1million in assets.

Karl, 43, and Victoria Shellard, 40, admitted back-to-back breeding – where dogs had delivered more than one litter in a 12-month period – and were both fined 19,000 £ each and repay £ 372,531 under the Proceeds of Crime Act under penalty of two years in prison.

Karl and Victoria Shellard were both fined £ 19,000 and ordered to pay back £ 372,531 after admitting consecutive reproduction

Dog breeders were able to take advantage of the growing demand for dogs during the lockdown, selling puppies for up to £ 20,000 at a time.  Pictured: Some of the Bulldogs the couple advertised online

Dog breeders were able to take advantage of the growing demand for dogs during the lockdown, selling puppies for up to £ 20,000 at a time. Pictured: Some of the Bulldogs the couple advertised online

Cardiff Crown Court has learned that the couple were first visited by animal welfare officers in January 2018 and told them they need to apply for a breeder’s license.

Their four-bedroom detached house in Bonvilston, South Wales, was subsequently raided in December 2019 – along with two other properties linked to the company.

Investigators found 20 dogs in an outhouse of their home with a lab equipped with microscopes and equipment for collecting semen and drawing blood.

Officers also found a partially completed and signed breeder’s license application form that was never sent.

The court heard that 24 dogs were found on a nearby property while six dogs were discovered in a building 15 miles away.

Prosecutor Tim Evans said the Shellards claim to be “experienced breeders” and “distinguished Bulldog leaders of all stripes.”

Evans said: “Despite this obvious work to facilitate their dog breeding business, they did not apply for a breeding license until January 2020.

“This was two weeks after a warrant was executed at the scene and almost two years after learning that a license was required.”

The court heard the crimes took place between 2014 and 2020 - with Caesarean section information showing 43 litters were delivered in just one year.  Pictured: some of the couple's dogs

The court heard the crimes took place between 2014 and 2020 – with Caesarean section information showing 43 litters were delivered in just one year. Pictured: some of the couple’s dogs

The couple admitted back-to-back breeding - where the dogs delivered more than one litter in a 12-month period

The couple admitted back-to-back breeding – where the dogs delivered more than one litter in a 12-month period

The rogue pair have set up their “PosherBulls” breeding service from their home and have bred at least 67 litters in six years.  Pictured: Some if the Bulldogs advertised on the couple's site

The rogue pair have set up their “PosherBulls” breeding service from their home and have bred at least 67 litters in six years. Pictured: Some if the Bulldogs advertised on the couple’s site

Karl Shellard claimed he did not send the license application because he and his wife were trying to sell their house and had to change the address.

He admitted to breeding dogs for six years when he did not have a license.

Meanwhile, Victoria Shellard, mother of three, said she would sell puppies for between £ 1,500 and £ 20,000.

The couple admitted to consecutive breeding – where the dogs had delivered more than one litter in a 12-month period.

The court heard the crimes took place between 2014 and 2020 – with Caesarean section information showing 43 litters were delivered in just one year.

Mr Evans said: “This back-to-back breeding would have been a license violation if they had been licensed breeders. This is something even legitimate breeders should never do.

“But, regardless of the lack of a breeder’s license, this is an animal welfare offense because recovery from a Caesarean takes several months and Shellards were artificially inseminating these dogs long before they were born. be healthy enough to have a pregnancy and then C-section again.

“It was a positive decision to raise the animals this way. “

A veterinary inspection was carried out in February last year after the couple officially applied for a breeding license.

The couple were first visited by animal <a class=welfare officers in January 2018 and told them they need to apply for a breeder’s license, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The couple were first visited by animal welfare officers in January 2018 and told them they need to apply for a breeder’s license, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

But it was not granted due to poorly managed health issues, inadequate housing and space for dogs, lack of understanding of guidelines, and poor isolation facilities for the dogs. unvaccinated dogs.

The couple pleaded guilty to raising dogs without a license and to nine counts of failing to provide for a protected animal for which they were responsible.

Investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act found that they earned £ 372,531 illegally, but had available assets of £ 1,041,714.

Defender Heath Edwards said the company was “recognized nationally and internationally” for the quality of dogs which were “in good health and of unmistakable pedigree”.

Judge David Wynn Morgan said, “You were running a puppy farm and doing it to make money, and you did indeed make a lot of money.

“You could have run a hugely profitable business if you were registered properly, but you’re going to pay the price for this madness. “

The couple have three months to pay or they will have to spend 24 months in prison.

They were also ordered to pay court costs of £ 43,775.

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