10-year dog ban for Rossendale pair who left puppies thirsty and suffering in illegal farm (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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10-year dog ban for Rossendale pair who left puppies thirsty and suffering in illegal farm
7:00pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A FATHER and son who ran an illegal puppy farm have been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.
Jeffery and Richard Speakman, from Rossendale, pleaded guilty to 11 animal cruelty offences and were also given four-month suspended prison sentences at Bury Magistrates' Court.
RSPCA and police swooped on Bentley Hall Farm, Walshaw, and seized 137 dogs.
Many were found thirsty, in pain and suffering from untreated medical conditions.
A chocolate Labrador, which died from organ failure after a womb infection led to septicaemia, was discovered hidden at the bottom of a bed filled with straw, and had not been seen by a vet.
Sentencing the pair, magistrate Albert Yates said: “You have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the circumstances and the conditions under which these dogs were kept.
“It is clear to us you put profit before the care of these animals and you neglected them and caused them unnecessary suffering. For that there is no excuse.”
Jeffery Speakman, 66, and his 22-year-old son, of Fern Street, Ramsbottom, were each ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £500. All of the dogs were eventually signed over to the RSPCA, with most now rehomed.
After the case, RSPCA inspector Jason Bowles said: “Some of the dogs were six years old and have been used as nothing more than breeding machines, producing litter after litter of puppies.”
Last month, the Speakmans admitted two counts of causing suffering to a protected animal and nine counts of failing to ensure animal welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Jeffrey Speakman also admitted two new offences relating to three puppies with an untreated gastrointestinal virus.
They bred 400 to 500 puppies a year – selling around 20 each week – and in a 14-month period took around £106,000 from buyers by charging around £250 per animal.
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