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Hilton couple fined for unlicensed dog breeding Published Date: 05/07/2023

Mr Shaun and Mrs Sue Hunt from Sutton Lane, Hilton were found guilty of unlicensed dog breeding from their home address and ordered to pay fines totalling £24,179.70 at Derby Magistrates’ Court earlier this week (Monday, 26 June).

The couple were initially warned by Licensing Enforcement Officers back in July 2019 for operating without a dog breeding licence.

Following complaints from members of the public, Officers executed a warrant at the property with support from Derbyshire Police in November 2021. The search revealed the kennels contained 19 dogs in total - including two litters of puppies in conditions that were not fit for purpose. 

Mrs Hunt was requested to undertake a series of works to ensure that the premises were cleaned, decluttered, and made fit for the animals. Later that same year Officers attended to establish what works had been completed - there was minimal improvements to the kennels and adjacent areas.

During this time evidence was obtained from various pet advertising websites indicating that the Hunts had been selling litters of puppies.

Both Mr and Mrs Hunt were charged with the offence of operating a dog breeding establishment without a licence. The court heard evidence that Mr and Mrs Hunt were issued with multiple warnings and that they were selling puppies across multiple sites.

Mr and Mrs Hunt entered guilty pleas and were sentenced to £10,000 each and a £1,000 victim surcharge each along with £1089.85 prosecution costs - totalling £24,179.70 for the pair.

Councillor Stephen Taylor, South Derbyshire District Council’s Chair of Environmental and Development Services Committee said:

“If you're thinking of buying a puppy or kitten, please do your research. Ask if the seller has a licence and check with the Council if you are in any doubt.

“Maintaining animal welfare through licensed checks is a high priority for us, so if you are suspicious in any way, please get in touch with us on 01283 228745.”

A licence to breed animals is required on the first litter of a business or on the third litter if not a business.  If you are selling for a profit, then this is still classed as a business.

Councillor Taylor added:

“This sentence sends out a strong message - if you're breeding dogs or thinking of doing so, please check all the relevant legislation first and contact the Council or your local authority for any advice.”