Illegal dog breeder who kept animals in 'terrible neglect' loses appeal against jailing

A dog breeder who made £150,000 from selling puppies has lost an appeal against her prison sentence and lifetime ban from keeping animals.

One of the dogs found at Bransby's farm
One of the dogs found at Bransby's farm

Alison Bransby of White House Farm, Hollins Lane, Tilstock, was jailed for 22 weeks last month for for running an illegal dog breeding business which caused dozens of animals to suffer.

The 63-year-old had appealed the sentence handed down by Kidderminster Magistrates on October 6 after pleading guilty to 17 animal welfare offences relating to 27 dogs, eight puppies, two cats, a horse, a lamb, a terrapin and an African grey parrot at an earlier hearing on 3 October. This included one offence of breeding and selling puppies without a licence.

On Friday a judge at Worcester Crown Court dismissed the appeal meaning Bransby’s lifetime ban on keeping all animals will also continue. She will also have to pay costs of £44,000.

The RSPCA inspectors and police found 35 dogs, including cavapoos, cockapoos, dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and terriers living in appalling conditions at her property in February 2021.

The investigation was launched following complaints from members of the public who had bought puppies and dogs from the farm which later became ill.

The farm at Tilstock

The court heard how Bransby was illegally operating an extensive commercial dog breeding operation at the site and advertised the enterprise on different websites. Dogs and puppies were housed in wooden sheds, pens and kennels, some barely bigger than a large rabbit hutch.

She made £150,000 from illegally breeding and selling the puppies, and around £9,000 in cash was seized from a safe at the property during the operation.

In her evidence, Kate Parker, the RSPCA inspector who led the warrant, said: “There were wooden sheds with stable type doors. Inside I could see a typical breeding set up for puppies, with a heat lamp angled over a plastic dog bed, an empty bowl and some soiled rags inside the bed. Inside a lean-to type construction there was a row of metal constructed kennels.

"There was a thin layer of sawdust on the concrete floor, clutter, household items and electrical cables dangling inside, accessible by the dogs housed in each.

Teddy the dog found deaf and blind

“I offered Alison Bransby the opportunity to sign over animals she wished into the care of the RSPCA to assist in reducing numbers and ease difficulties in caring for them on site, to which she disagreed.”

Among the large number of dogs found was an emaciated and elderly King Charles Cavalier called Teddy who is thought to have been used for breeding. Curled up in a plastic bed in the corner of the dark kitchen, he was found to be blind and deaf with only one tooth left in his mouth.

Such was the extent of his neglect that he was put to sleep on veterinary advice to prevent further suffering.

Dozens of other neglected and poorly animals were discovered at the property including cats, a horse, lamb, terrapin and parrot.

One of the cages

RSPCA animal centres in Leicester, Birmingham and Aylesbury, assisted by a number of the charity’s fosterers, took in the animals. All but three have since been rehomed. Sadly Ruby the horse and both cats were put to sleep on veterinary advice to prevent further suffering the RSPCA said.

Speaking after the appeal hearing hearing, chief inspector Ian Briggs from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, which investigated the illegal selling, said: "We’re pleased this case has finally concluded and that the vast majority of the animals who suffered such terrible neglect are now living happy lives in loving new homes.

"We'd always encourage anyone thinking of getting a puppy to adopt rather than buy, and to do lots of research first to ensure they source a dog responsibly.”

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