Puppy farmer branded 'unscrupulous' by RSPCA after earning £50,000 selling unhealthy dogs

The RSPCA has branded a puppy farmer who made £50,000 by conning pet lovers into buying unhealthy dogs "unscrupulous".

The animal charity also urged people to be cautious about who they buy their pets from after Kenneth Purchase's "deliberately misleading" ways were heard about at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Several of at least 321 dogs which Purchase, aged 68, sold without the required licence from his home in Allscott Mill, near Telford, were fraught with health problems including the debilitating canine parovirus, and some dogs had to be put down.

The court heard how one owner kept thinking of the sound of the "barnful of dogs" howling, and how the thought of a "lifeless" dog she left behind gave her nightmares.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “This very sad case highlights the price of poor puppy breeding; unscrupulous people who are willing to put profit before welfare and heartbroken buyers left with sick puppies who either need intensive treatment or ultimately pay with their lives.

“We urge families who are considering getting a puppy to be cautious when choosing who and where to buy from and - as hard as it may be - to walk away and contact the RSPCA or the local authority if something doesn’t seem right.

“We would also strongly recommend that people use the Puppy Contract to help ensure they are buying a happy and healthy dog.

“If you’re concerned about a breeder, please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.”

Purchase pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to one offence of engaging in a commercial practice which was a misleading action, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and European Communities Act 1972.

Recorder Anthony Hawks told Purchase: "You deserve to go to prison," but instead chose to fine him £25,000 and order him to pay court costs of £25,000. He must also pay £1,286 to victims.

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