A man has been sentenced to 270 hours of community service following a puppy dealing investigation by the Scottish SPCA.
32-year-old Marco Tondo illegally sold puppies along with his accomplice Nadine Campbell, 32.
Campbell was handed a three-month restriction of liberty order for her part in the affair which saw several puppies become ill and die.
Tondo, of 17 Shawhill Court, Annan and Campbell, of Colston Avenue in Bishopbriggs plead guilty to selling the puppies without a pet shop licence contrary to the Pet Animals Act 1951, Section 1 (1).
Tondo also plead guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide care contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, Sections 19 (2).
A Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit (SIU) inspector said: “Whilst we welcome and respect the court’s judgment, we would have liked to see Tondo given a ban on owning or keeping animals. His disregard for the welfare of numerous dogs led to several puppies becoming unwell and, in two sorry cases, passing away.”
“We became aware of Tondo and Campbell following reports by concerned members of the public who had purchased puppies from them that had subsequently become very ill and, sadly in two instances, passed away.
“Working on intelligence we were able to determine that both of the accused were supplied puppies from an unidentified puppy dealer, but failed to keep any form of register of sales carried out.
“Our investigation led us to the home of Campbell. With a warrant, we discovered evidence to support that they were selling puppies on behalf of a third party without the appropriate licence.
“The pups have come from suspected puppy dealers. These people are driven by profit and often have no regard for animal welfare.
“The puppies were suffering from a number of serious health problems including worm and flea infestations, parvovirus and coccidiosis, a parasitic infestation. Tondo’s failure to provide veterinary care for these animals would have led to immeasurable suffering.
“Not only did they put the dogs in their care at risk but due to the contagious nature of the diseases the puppies had, they put domestic dogs in Scotland at great risk.
“This has been heart-breaking for the families who bought the puppies from the couple. Not only did it result in large veterinary bills, but also a lot of stress and heartache.
“Tondo has overlooked the most basic welfare standards in order that they can profit at the expense of these animals.
“This case shows that not only are we targeting puppy farmers but we are also taking on those buying puppies from dealers with successful results. This is a reminder that we will not overlook anyone involved in this barbaric trade.”
The Scottish SPCA spearhead Operation Delphin, a multi-agency taskforce designed to bring illegal puppy traders to justice.
Disrupting the multimillion pound industry is one of the Society’s main priorities, and its #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign has received widespread public and cross-party political support.
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating illegal puppy dealers and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity.
All information shared with the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999 can be treated confidentially.
The undercover investigator added: “The onus is on the public to do their homework before buying a pup. The only way we can stop the horrific puppy trade is for people to say no to puppy dealers and buy or adopt responsibly.”