Seeing pup suffer was ‘heartbreaking’
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