A dog breeder has been fined for allowing a puppy in his care to have its ears cut off.Michael Dawson, aged 49, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court.
But he was not banned from keeping animals because he said breeding dogs was his only source of income.Police and the RSPCA raided his home in Plymouth and found the American Pocket Bully dog – named Riot – in a crate in the garden with its ears cropped.
The tan and white dog was seized by the animal charity and has since been rehomed.Dawson, of Kings Tamerton Road, pleaded guilty to permitting another person to perform a prohibited procedure, or failing to protect a protected animal, in June 2019. He told the court that he had bought the puppy from a Scottish breeder for £5,000, and sent Riot away to meet a potential mate. Dawson said he was ‘upset’ when the dog returned with her ears cropped.
A vet who examined Riot found both of her ears had been surgically removed and still had stitches in, and she was covered with pink antibiotic spray.
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Biopsies taken from the dog showed the injuries had been inflicted around two weeks earlier.An RSPCA spokesperson said Riot was taken into foster care when the multi-agency warrant was executed with Plymouth City Council at the fore. ‘Riot was signed over to the RSPCA in March 2020 and settled in well to her new home,’ they added.
The RSPCA said ear-cropping was on the increase in the UK, despite it being illegal. It is allowed in America and other European countries.
The charity claimed people were encouraged by celebrities who had cropped dogs – but said it is painful and affects a dog’s hearing.
Dawson was fined in November at the same court for having illegal veterinary medicines.Dawson and his company, Element Bullys, admitted having five substances, including a prescription-only antibiotic treatment for dogs.
It followed a raid under a search warrant by officials from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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Both Dawson and the company, where he is the sole registered director, admitted possessing unauthorised medicinal products in June last year.
Dawson was fined £265 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.Element Bullys Ltd, based at Faraday Mill Business Park in Cattedown, was fined £1,500 plus a £150 victim surcharge.
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