Birmingham & Black Country

Solihull puppy farmer jailed for animal cruelty

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Media caption"Use whip to crack in yard" - instruction at puppy farm

A puppy farmer who bred and sold sick and dying puppies to members of the public has been jailed for six months.

Sean Kerr, from Bickenhill, Solihull, was convicted of nine animal cruelty charges after police and the RSPCA raided his puppy farm in December 2015.

A total of 37 puppies were seized, as well as one dead dog found in a plastic bag in a van parked at the farm.

Animal inspectors found puppies on floors coated with faeces and bedding soaked with urine, a court heard.

Kerr, 52, of Pastures Farm, Coventry Road, was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Image caption Sean Kerr has been jailed for six months

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He was found guilty of six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs and three offences of failing to meet the needs of a number of dogs following a trial.

Kerr was also banned from keeping dogs for life and ordered to pay £30,000 costs. He has said he will appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Some puppies were kept in complete darkness, the court heard
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Dogs were found on floors coated with faeces and bedding soaked with urine

An investigation was launched after various complaints to the RSPCA and the farm was raided on 22 December 2015.

The dogs included a pregnant shih tzu, which was discovered cowering in a downstairs toilet, and a pregnant pug. The RSPCA said 27 puppies were later born in its care.

Most of the dogs rescued from the farm were fostered and all can now be rehomed.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption A note with instructions to "keep dogs quiet" was also found in one of the stables
Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Puppies were being sold for between £350 and £450 each, the RSPCA said

Kerr has pleaded not guilty to a charge under the Fraud Act which will be heard at Birmingham Crown Court in March.

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