The successful prosecution was brought by Wealden District Council after investigation by the Council in partnership with other agencies in the run up to last Christmas. They found 19 puppies were being kept unlawfully for commercial sale at the premises. All the puppies found were pronounced fit and healthy after an RSPCA inspection. No adult dogs were found on the premises.
Susan Dyer (50), of Turner Avenue, Cranbrook, was found guilty by Eastbourne Magistrates of unlawfully operating a business in contravention of the 1951 Pet Animals Act, which makes it an offence to operate a pet shop without a local authority licence.
"Always ask questions about a puppy's parents if you are buying a dog. Ask to see the parents if possible," said Colin Pateman, Wealden's Animal Welfare Licensing Officer. "Commercial sellers should have a proper Pet Shop Licence, which means the premises can be regularly inspected to make sure the conditions are suitable and the animals are being properly fed, watered and their veterinary needs catered for."
After the court case, Cllr Susan Stedman, chairman of Wealden's Licencing Committee, urged members of the public to take care when buying a pet dog:
"As well as the long term responsibilities involved in caring for a pet dog, it is important to take proper care as a buyer. Otherwise you could be encouraging illegal puppy farming operations, some of which are selling puppies imported from overseas."