Illegal puppy breeder caught dead by SDC animal welfare team

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A woman who raised 18 French bulldogs in three litters without a license has been ordered to pay more than £3,200 in court.

Nathalie Bakker of Cheltenham Road, Pitchcombe, Stroud had previously lost her license to raise puppies because a dog in her care was killed by her own dogs. But she ignored clear instructions from the SDC Animal Welfare Team not to breed or sell dogs without a license, resulting in a court appearance and a hefty fine and costs.

At Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 24, Bakker pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful breeding and selling of puppies. She previously held an animal activity license for breeding and boarding dogs at her home.

However, in March 2021, the Council’s animal welfare team revoked his license following an investigation into an incident in which a dog Bakker cared for on the property was attacked and killed by his own dogs. At that time, it was clarified to him that the revocation of his license prohibited him from operating a dog boarding, breeding and selling business.

Over the next few months, animal welfare officers discovered that Bakker had in fact been engaged in licensed activities, namely the breeding of three litters of French bulldog puppies (18 puppies in total) and the subsequent sale of 15 of these puppies, all without permission to do so.

Consequently, the court ordered Bakker to pay a total fine of £3,255, comprising a fine of £1,500, full costs of £1,605 and a victim fine surcharge of £150.

After the hearing, TCS Environment Committee Chair Councilor Chloe Turner said: ‘The council considers the health and welfare of animals throughout the district to be extremely important and the permission to specific activities is a major foundation of animal welfare. This lawsuit demonstrates that where there is evidence of illegal activity, in this case breeding and selling puppies without a license, we are prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure that the future welfare of animals is protected.

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