Top puppy raiser says dogs at center of SPCA neglect trial were well cared for

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More than 30 dogs were rescued by the SPCA.

SPCA/PROVIDED

More than 30 dogs were rescued by the SPCA.

A reputable puppy breeder on trial for negligence said his dogs were well cared for and were only tied up or confined for short periods.

Barbara Glover, 83, and her daughter Janine Wallace, 61, deny six counts of failing to relieve an animal’s pain or distress, and 30 counts of failing to meet physical needs , animal health and behavior.

They face a trial by judge alone at Manukau District Court in South Auckland.

The court has previously heard from SPCA inspectors, tipped off by a member of the public in 2017, that they found German Shepherds in cages with their own feces and puppies living in filthy conditions at the duo’s farm in Mangatangi.

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Wallace began testifying in his own defense this week.

She said she and her mother were “shocked” when the SPCA arrived in July 2017.

Barbara Glover and Janine Wallace deny animal abuse.

Catrin Owen / Stuff

Barbara Glover and Janine Wallace deny animal abuse.

Glover and Wallace were known as top German Shepherd breeders and ran Volkerson Kennels, which was established in 1962, the court heard.

“I’ve grown up with German Shepherds all my life…it’s a hobby, a sport we’ve done all our lives.”

During her testimony, Wallace told the court that she started her day at 4 a.m. with the puppies. She exercised them, fed them and cleaned their area.

She would then move on to older dogs.

As sheds and areas were cleared, sometimes puppies and dogs were placed in confined areas, but only for short periods, she said.

A number of dogs were found tied up when the SPCA visited the Mangatangi farm in 2017.

SPCA/PROVIDED

A number of dogs were found tied up when the SPCA visited the Mangatangi farm in 2017.

Dogs would also only be temporarily restrained, Wallace said.

Some dogs were tethered for their own safety to ensure they didn’t run free or force their way into a field with deer, she said.

The kennels were cleaned daily, often twice, but due to the old concrete they didn’t always look as clean as they did, she said.

The breeder also disputed claims that dogs were exposed to ammonia, living in their own feces or left without fresh water.

“We weren’t told in advance that the SPCA was suddenly coming, it’s a snapshot in time…we move them, exercise them, train them, nurse them and walk them daily,” Wallace said.

Fifteen dogs were seized by the SPCA in October 2017, after the couple received several notices about their inadequate shelter and care.

However, “they should never have been relieved,” Wallace said on Friday.

“They should never have been relieved,” Wallace said on Friday.

“They were 1000% healthy in every way.”

The trial before Judge Karen Grau continues.

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