‘I didn’t mean to dump dead pups’

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Jodie Nes­ling jnes­[email protected]­m­ @jo­di­enes­ling

A dog breeder has been pros­e­cuted after five dead pup­pies des­tined for a house­hold tip were found strewn across a coun­try lane by a dis­tressed mo­torist.

Fa­ther-of-five Ian Thomas ap­peared be­fore Can­ter­bury mag­is­trates this week fol­low­ing the shock­ing dis­cov­ery of the life­less cock­apoos in Fox’s Cross Road, Seasalter.

The 42-year-old told the court the pup­pies were in two black sacks which fell off the back of his trailer.

Per­sonal doc­u­ments link­ing the an­i­mals to Thomas’s dog breed­ing busi­ness, Doodlepets, were found in the bags.

Prose­cut­ing for Can­ter­bury City Coun­cil, Peter Kee said: “The black sacks with the bod­ies of the pup­pies were spot­ted by a woman driv­ing along Fox’s Cross Road.

“At that stage she could not be sure whether the pup­pies were still alive.

“She called her daugh­ter and asked her to in­form the RSCPA and re­quest that they come to the scene.

“When they ar­rived, the RSPCA took the very graphic im­ages seen by the court.”

Can­ter­bury City Coun­cil launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and Thomas ad­mit­ted own­ing the bags, but claimed he had not in­tended to dump them in the lane last July.

The law says those trans­port­ing in­dus­trial waste, which in­cludes dead an­i­mals if you are a breeder, have a duty to take rea­son­able mea­sures to pre­vent its es­cape.

Thomas said he was go­ing to dis­pose of the pup­pies at a house­hold waste cen­tre, de­spite his li­cence stip­u­lat­ing the busi­ness should have an in­dus­trial waste agree­ment in place.

Rep­re­sent­ing him­self in

court on Tues­day, Thomas was ques­tioned about the deaths of the pup­pies.

“Dog breed­ing is not an ex­act sci­ence and some­times things can go wrong and we don’t know why,” he said. “It’s taboo to talk about it.”

Speaking about the dis­posal, he added: “Clearly it was an ac­ci­dent. I ac­knowl­edge it was my re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“No­body in their right mind would dump dead pup­pies, and let­ters with their name on, half-a-mile away from their home. I am ter­ri­bly sorry for

the dis­tress [caused] to the peo­ple who found them.”

Thomas, who has run his dog breed­ing busi­ness in Pil­grims Lane, Whit­stable, for 11 years, ad­mit­ted fail­ing to pre­vent the es­cape of in­dus­trial waste.

The for­mer IT con­sul­tant, who sells the pup­pies for as much as £2,500 each, was fined £960 and or­dered to pay £414 costs.

Thomas’s part­ner, An­gela Man­ning, who runs the busi­ness with him, was fac­ing the same charge but the case against her was dropped on the day of the hear­ing. Speaking af­ter­wards, the city coun­cil’s head of safer com­mu­ni­ties, Dou­glas Rat­tray, said: “This is a highly un­usual case and it feels un­com­fort­able to be de­scrib­ing dead pup­pies as in­dus­trial waste, even though tech­ni­cally that is true when it comes to a dog breed­ing busi­ness.

“As Thomas ac­knowl­edges, it must have been in­cred­i­bly dis­tress­ing for a mem­ber of the pub­lic to come across the black sacks con­tain­ing dead pup­pies by the side of the road and we are glad he has apol­o­gised to them and the court.

“By plead­ing guilty, Thomas has ac­cepted he had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to take care of the waste he was trans­port­ing.

“That rule ap­plies to ev­ery­one.

“We are de­ter­mined to en­sure the dis­trict is not blighted by waste at the side of the road, whether it was left there by ac­ci­dent or neg­li­gence, as in this case, or whether it is caused by lit­ter­ing or fly-tip­ping.

“We will al­ways in­ves­ti­gate and those we catch will be li­able to sub­stan­tial fines and could end up in court with a crim­i­nal con­vic­tion.”

Ian Thomas at Can­ter­bury Mag­is­trates’ Court with his part­ner, An­gela Man­ning, whose case was dropped by the pros­e­cu­tion

Head of safer com­mu­ni­ties Dou­glas Rat­tray wel­comed the guilty plea after the dogs’ bod­ies were found

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