Bark­ing mad

SMUG­GLED PUP­PIES FOUND AT AD­DRESS IN NORTHWOOD

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by TOM HER­BERT tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

A RO­MA­NIAN man has been banned from keep­ing an­i­mals for five years af­ter smug­gling six pup­pies into the coun­try.

Alexan­dru-Con­stantin Ghita, 28, of Old Read­ing, Har­row, was con­victed of two counts of land­ing an an­i­mal, one count of trad­ing an un­li­censed pet shop and one count of fail­ing to en­sure the needs of a pro­tected an­i­mal at Hen­don Mag­is­trates’ Court on Au­gust 17.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice of­fi­cers were called on June 18 to an ad­dress in Waller Drive, Northwood, to re­ports of a sus­pected bur­glary in progress.

They found no ev­i­dence of a break-in but did dis­cover six young pup­pies run­ning loose in a clut­tered garage with no nat­u­ral light or wa­ter. The pup­pies, four French bull­dogs and two pugs, were taken into po­lice pos­ses­sion un­der the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act.

A ve­teri­nary sur­geon de­ter­mined they had orig­i­nated from abroad and were un­der-age to have been law­fully im­ported.

The case was re­ferred to An­i­mal Health In­spec­tors from the City of Lon­don Cor­po­ra­tion who or­dered that the pup­pies be placed into quar­an­tine. Of­fi­cers from the Met Po­lice Task­force in part­ner­ship with An­i­mal Health In­spec­tors from the City Cor­po­ra­tion’s Heathrow An­i­mal Re­cep­tion Cen­tre launched a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the un­law­ful land­ing of the pup­pies con­trary to the Ra­bies (Im­por­ta­tion of Dogs, Cats and Other Mam­mals) Or­der 1974 and sec­tions 72(b) and 76(2) of the An­i­mal Health Act 1981.

Ghita was iden­ti­fied as the per­son re­spon­si­ble for land­ing the an­i­mals and was sub­se­quently in­ter­viewed un­der cau­tion.

He said he was bring­ing the an­i­mals to the UK as gifts for his friends and not as a com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity, but ev­i­dence ob­tained by in­ves­ti­ga­tors showed that ad­verts had been placed on-line of­fer­ing the dogs for sale and that they had been im­ported from Ro­ma­nia un­der­go­ing a 48 hour jour­ney across Europe to reach the UK.

Ghita was charged with two counts of Land­ing An­i­mals – Con­trary to the Ra­bies (Im­por­ta­tion of Dogs, Cats and Other Mam­mals) Or­der 1974 and sec­tions 72(b) and 76(2) of the An­i­mal Health Act 1981

One count of Trad­ing as an Un­li­censed Pet Shop – Con­trary to sec­tions 1(1) and (7) and 5(1) of the Pet An­i­mals Act 1951.

One count of Re­spon­si­ble Per­son Fail­ing to en­sure the needs Pro­tected An­i­mal - Con­trary to sec­tion 9 and 32(2) of the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act 2006.

Ghita pleaded guilty to all counts at Hen­don Mag­is­trates’ Court on Thurs­day, Au­gust 17.

The dogs will now be re-homed through the Dogs Trust.

He was sen­tenced on the same day and banned from keep­ing any an­i­mals for five years and fined £3,335. In­spec­tor Paddy O’Hara, of the Met’s Sta­tus Dog Unit, said: “Ghita kept these an­i­mals in poor con­di­tions with­out any con­sid­er­a­tion for their needs.

“We are pleased to see that they are now safe and will be re-homed by our col­leagues at the Dogs Trust, who have homed them in their ken­nels at their own ex­pense. We are very grate­ful.

“Thanks to the ban handed down at court, Ghita is now pro­hib­ited from keep­ing any an­i­mal for five years. This con­vic­tion should serve as a warn­ing to any­one who is trad­ing an­i­mals il­le­gally that the Met will in­ves­ti­gate this crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

We are please to see that they are now safe and will be re-homed In­spec­tor Paddy O’Hara, Met Po­lice

Above and below left, some of the pups who were il­le­gally brought into the UK from Ro­ma­nia

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