Dog boarder receives five-year ban from keeping canines

Published: Thursday, 23rd January 2020

A Birmingham dog boarder was banned from keeping any dogs for five years, at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (23 January 2020).

A Birmingham dog boarder was banned from keeping any dogs for five years after pleading guilty to an offence under Animal Welfare Act 2006, of failing to provide veterinary care for a white West Highland Terrier suffering from a skin infection.

Louise Lawford, also pleaded guilty to three offences of breaching conditions attached to her licence to home board dogs at her previous residence on Eastern Road, Sutton Coldfield. The licence was issued under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

The 48-year-old was also ordered to pay a £800 fine, £2,616 in costs and a £80 victim surcharge.

Birmingham City Council brought the case after receiving numerous complaints from owners of dogs placed in Lawford’s care in June 2019.

During this period, Lawford not only boarded more dogs than her licence permitted, but also multiple dogs from different homes without their owners’ consent. She also failed to implement the healthcare plan she had in place, as she did not obtain proof that the dogs were vaccinated and treated for worms or fleas.

A failure to comply with the healthcare plan and boarding excessive numbers of dogs puts the health and welfare of all dogs boarded at risk.

Vikki Allwood, Senior Animal Welfare Officer at Birmingham City Council said: “Louise Lawford has today accepted that she fundamentally breached the terms of her dog boarding licence and failed to seek medical treatment for a dog in her care.

“Only Ms Lawford knows the truth of what happened to the five beloved pets placed in her care. Unfortunately, we do not have clear and cogent evidence to establish, to the criminal standard, as to why the dogs have not been returned to their owners.

“This is an unusual and upsetting case where licence conditions for home dog boarding were flouted. Ms Lawford put the health and welfare of dogs in her care at risk and therefore I welcome the order banning her for five years from keeping dogs of any kind.

“I trust this case has brought some comfort to the owners, and we offer our sincerest sympathy to all the dog owners affected by Ms Lawford’s actions.”

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