See­ing pup suf­fer was ‘heart­break­ing’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A DIS­GRACED Uxbridge vet who con­tin­ued to prac­tise while on trial for as­sist­ing a puppy farm­ing gang may face in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Royal Col­lege of Vet­eri­nary Sur­geons, the of­fi­cial govern­ing body for vets in the UK, has said that Daniel Do­herty’s case is be­ing ‘con­sid­ered’ by the Col­lege.

Do­herty, aged 49, ran two MyVet24/7 surg­eries in Uxbridge and Hilling­don, and between April 2011 and Mat 2017, the surg­eries pro­vided nearly 5,000 vac­ci­na­tion records and health cards to farmed pup­pies.

The dogs were brought in by a Hayes-based gang of puppy farm­ers who also im­ported in­ten­sively bred dogs from an Ir­ish dealer. Pros­e­cu­tor Hazel Stephens told the court on Tues­day May 22 that Do­herty’s surg­eries would ac­cept the pup­pies which of­ten came in batches that made it clear they were not nat­u­ral lit­ters.

On Au­gust 20, 2015, MyVet24/7 is­sued 62 health cards and vac­ci­na­tions to pup­pies brought in by the farm­ers. On De­cem­ber 10, 2015, the gang brought in 63 pup­pies. The gang even brought 44 pup­pies to a sin­gle ap­point­ment at the vets on April 5, 2016, to get vac­ci­nated and have their cards made.

Pros­e­cu­tor Hazel Stevens said that the “ma­jor­ity of pup­pies sold re­quired vet­eri­nary treat­ment, and a num­ber of them died”.

Some of the pup­pies fell sick soon af­ter they were bought, with some even tak­ing a turn for the worse dur­ing the drive home.

Com­mon ill­nesses the pets con­tracted in­cluded par­vovirus, campy­lobac­ter and even gi­a­rda, which can be trans­ferred between species, en­dan­ger­ing the hu­mans that bought them.

Do­herty, for­merly of Wood Lane, Iver Heath, first came un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in re­la­tion to the puppy farm­ing scan­dal when cus­tomers who bought sick pup­pies re­ported the traders to the RSPCA.

The vet has con­tin­ued to work at both prac­tices.

The Royal Col­lege of Vet­eri­nary Sur­geons (RCVS) has not yet placed any re­stric­tions on Mr Do­herty’s li­cense to prac­tise.

Fol­low­ing his con­vic­tion in April, the Col­lege is­sued this brief state­ment: “We are aware of the re­cent con­vic­tion of a vet at Isle­worth Crown Court and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances.”

Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, the RCVS is re­spon­si­ble for “set­ting, up­hold­ing and ad­vanc­ing the ed­u­ca­tional, eth­i­cal and clin­i­cal stan­dards of vet­eri­nary sur­geons and vet­eri­nary nurses.”

Fol­low­ing his sen­tenc­ing, a Royal Col­lege of Vet­eri­nary Sur­geons spokesman said: “We are aware of the re­cent con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing of Daniel Do­herty at Isle­worth Crown Court and, now that the crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings have con­cluded, we are con­sid­er­ing the mat­ter un­der our con­cerns in­ves­ti­ga­tion process.

“Each case is con­sid­ered on its own mer­its.”

See story on op­po­site page for full court case de­tails. A FAM­ILY from Feltham was left heart­bro­ken when a puppy they bought fell sick, col­lapsed and died days af­ter he joined the fam­ily.

The gang op­er­ated by im­port­ing pup­pies farmed in Ire­land and post­ing ads on web­sites like Gumtree and Pets 4 Homes, ad­ver­tis­ing the pets as from a lit­ter of a lov­ing fam­ily pet or even a pedi­gree an­i­mal.

In re­al­ity dogs were forced to in­ten­sively breed and kept in squalid con­di­tions.

When own­ers would en­quire af­ter the pup­pies, they were sent to an ad­dress in Hayes where one of the con­spir­a­tors would present the home as a lov­ing fam­ily home with a lit­ter of pups for sale.

Claire, who wanted to buy Char­lie as a fam­ily pet, re­sponded to an ad on­line and vis­ited one of the homes in Hayes on Fe­bru­ary 1, 2016, and bought Char­lie for £470.

“A woman opened the door and let us in. There were chil­dren there and a man came to show us the pups,” Claire said.

“He talked us through the pa­per­work and vac­ci­na­tion cards. He said his dad owned the fa­ther of the pups and he owned the mother but he didn’t show us her. The room was clean and the pup­pies seemed lively and friendly.”

The gang mem­bers were skilled at hid­ing the fact that they were puppy farm­ing, go­ing out of their way to dis­guise the tell-tale signs warned of by an­i­mal char­i­ties.

Even by the time Char­lie got home, Claire started to no­tice things weren’t quite right.

“Char­lie sat on my lap in the car and was fine,” Claire says.

“She slept the whole way. When we got home she was lively and play­ing. But when she went to the toi­let it was quite runny.”

“She just slept, drank, di­ar­rhoea, and straight back to bed,” Claire re­calls. “She was like that the whole day and wouldn’t eat so the fol­low­ing day I called the vet again”.

Within two days, Char­lie went from lively to lethar­gic, and had sick­ness and di­ar­rhoea, so the fam­ily took the pup to the vet, who gave the dog an in­jec­tion and sent her home.

Char­lie al­ready had a health card and im­mu­ni­sa­tion his­tory, pro­vided by MyVet24/7, a pair of surg­eries in Uxbridge and Hilling­don ran by vet Daniel Do­herty, 49, pre­vi­ously of Wood Lane, Iver Heath.

Do­herty was also con­victed as part of the con­spir­acy and his surg­eries pro­vided vac­ci­na­tions and health cards to more than 4,600 of the pup­pies.

Judge tells dis­graced vet in £2.5m puppy farm­ing scan­dal he ‘very much hopes’ he can keep his job

Pros­e­cu­tor Hazel Stevens said told the court that de­spite the health cards and vac­ci­na­tions is­sues, the “ma­jor­ity of pup­pies sold re­quired vet­eri­nary treat­ment, and a num­ber of them died”.

Vets told Claire that if she was still wor­ried, she could bring him to the evening walk-in ses­sion, but Char­lie didn’t make it.

“By 3.30pm she’d col­lapsed, her legs gave way and she had no en­ergy so I took her to the surgery,” said Claire. “By the time I got her there she was half life­less.”

“The vet was cer­tain it was par­vovirus and gave us op­tions – we could try in­ten­sive treat­ment which may or may not work, or we could avoid al­low­ing Char­lie to suf­fer any fur­ther and put her to sleep.

“We didn’t want her to suf­fer any more so we agreed to have her put to sleep. It was heart­break­ing.”

Vets tested a sam­ple from Char­lie which con­firmed she had par­vovirus. Dogs catch the dis­ease from oral con­tact with in­fected fae­ces or items con­tam­i­nated by in­fected fae­ces.

Claire and her fam­ily tried to con­tact the gang who sold them the farmed pup­pies, but their calls and texts went unan­swered, so they called the RSPCA.

The an­i­mal char­ity had a num­ber of calls about puppy farm­ing in Hayes and ex­e­cuted a raid on four ad­dresses in con­junc­tion with Met­ro­pol­i­tan po­lice.

Adorable spaniel Char­lie

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