A woman who sold puppies without a licence and used false details to avoid regulations has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.
Esther Titterton, 26 from Milwich, Stafford, had previously pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrate Court & Stafford Crown Court to charges involving fraudulent trading of puppies. Ms Titterton was also charged with the breeding of dogs without a licence, sales of puppies without a pet shop licence and consumer protection offences.
She was given the jail sentence at Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday 23 April.
The sentencing follows an investigation by Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, along with the Animal, Plant and Health Agency, Staffordshire Police and the RSPCA.
After investigating, officers found 39 puppies and seized a variety of documents including vaccination certificates and Kennel Club papers that were found to be false. These papers were used to convince purchasers about the condition and value of the puppies.
A subsequent check determined that the premises had not been licensed to sell pets or breed dogs.
Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins said:
“Demand for fashionable breeds of puppies is always high, so it can be a very lucrative business. Our animal health team work hard to investigate those who are providing false or misleading information about the animals they sell, and ensure they are brought to justice.
“If anyone has any suspicions when buying a puppy, they are urged to contact their relevant district or borough council in the first instance.”