Pups found unwell and in poor conditions find their forever homes

Love is all around for a group of puppies now in their forever homes after they were rescued from poor conditions and covered in faeces.

Police attended a property in Buckinghamshire back in July 2021 and found 17 puppies living in poor conditions without a mother present. They contacted the RSPCA for help and Special Operations Unit (SOU) officer Kirsty Withnall went to assist.

(pictures of one of the pups at the time and now in his happy new home)

The puppies - a mix of cocker spaniels and Cavalier King Charles spaniels - were of differing ages, from eight weeks to three months, and there were no adult dogs on site. Some of the puppies were ill and were being kept in unsuitable conditions, some in a white van and others in pens with dog crates.

One puppy had a cable tie around its neck that was so tight it had to be rushed to the vets on police blue lights because rescuers couldn’t remove it.

The case concluded in January 2023 where four members of a family were sentenced* after being found guilty of not taking steps to ensure that the needs of a number of puppies were met to the extent required by good practice.

The man from the family also faced offences of making false representations, under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and also for causing unnecessary suffering to a male Cocker Spaniel type puppy by failing to remove a tight-fitting cable tie from the animal’s neck resulting in tissue damage.

The pups were first placed in foster care and then rehomed with the help of staff at RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Centre

Henry - who was the pup who was found with a cable tie around his neck - has found a loving home with Richard and Viola Martin, who live in Suffolk.

“He was born to run and he just loves running on the sand,” said Richard. “He is very sociable and he thinks every dog wants to play with him. 

“He has always been happy wearing a collar and a harness, he has never flinched. “Henry is always smiling, considering what he has been through he is so happy.

“He is such a part of the family - we are season football ticket holders and he will sit in a seat in between us! He is crazy and goofy - and has settled in so well.”

Belle has been with her owner since November 2021. "She is just beautiful,” said her owner. “She is very affectionate and lively and is a bit of a class clown! She always has a sock or a slipper to carry around.

“She is really friendly although she was nervous at the beginning but she has come on leaps and bounds. I was aware she didn't have the best start in life and had to spend some time in kennels due to the diseases she had. I am so glad that I was able to give her a forever home."

Another of the pups - who has been named Lady (below) - has been rehomed to Callum and Aimee from Cambridgeshire who say has come a long way since they first met. 

“Though she was always more than happy to meet people and spoil them with love, she was terrified of doorways, the car, and most noises that caught her off guard,” Callum said.

“It wasn’t long before she settled right into our home and changed our world. Now she is the first one through the door, she loves to join us in the car on adventures no matter how far away and is completely unfazed by anything that doesn’t involve food or cuddles. She’s the first one awake each morning and straight onto our bed to wake us up too. 

“She loves to be outdoors and get the wind in her ears which flap around all over the place. She is the most affectionate, loving but goofy little dog and never fails to put a smile on the face of everyone who meets her. We are so lucky to have found her and grateful to the RSPCA for letting Lady join our family.”

Amanda Foster from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, adopted Bailey who says is the “most beautiful little soul”.

Amanda said: “He is gentle, playful and has endless cuddles and kisses to give. As a first time dog owner, I couldn’t have got a better puppy. He made himself at home straight away. He has always slept through the night, toilet training was easy, he travels well in the car, he also enjoys train trips! And walks well on the lead unless he spies a squirrel! He really is the most lovely little boy.”

Oliver and Kylie from Oxfordshire rehomed Polly. (pictured above)

“She loves to be the centre of attention and is always happy and just loves everyone,” said Oliver.

“Her heart races when she sees people. Her favourite things are her walks and she just wants to go everywhere with us.”

While another of the pups - Ruby - has been adopted by Lauren Whittaker, who said: "She is such a lovely, friendly pup who is very happy and is always after a cuddle! "We feel very lucky to have her in our family. We are so pleased and proud to have rehomed her and give her a loving home."

As part of the case the police found adverts on Pets4Homes for cocker spaniels for £1,300. Thin Be advert said the puppies were born to a ‘family pet’ and had been health-checked, vaccinated, and treated for fleas and worms. The advert said the puppies had been ‘raised in a busy household’.

Further investigations discovered adverts online that showed an estimated £62,520 worth of puppies - of different breeds - had been posted between 7 April and 25 July 2021 using four different names, five different phone numbers, eight email addresses and eight addresses.

The council told investigators that the property did not have a licence for breeding or selling. 

Special Operations Unit Inspector Kirsty Withnall said: “These puppies had been taken away from their mothers and moved to a strange location where they mixed with other puppies of differing ages. They were being kept in completely unsuitable conditions and one had a cable tie tight around his throat and had to be rushed to vets to have it removed.

“Thankfully all of the puppies were removed, placed into foster homes and have since been rehomed, and it is just wonderful to see them doing so well with their new families.”

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