Local Dog Kennels Pleads Guilty to Animal Welfare Offences
The owners of the licenced animal boarding establishment were ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty for failing to take appropriate action after a dog died whilst in their care. An investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Environmental Health officers uncovered multiple licence condition breaches that led to the incident in July 2017.
The owner and licensee of Tullian Park Hotel, Mr and Mrs Page, attended Luton Magistrates on 27 February 2018. They both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in their care and five breaches of their licence conditions.
The court heard that a 4-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux (a large French Mastiff breed) called Lenny, died of suspected heat exhaustion after he was kept in an area with poor ventilation during very hot weather. When the owners of the dog arrived to collect him, they were met by distressed staff. Despite noticing the dog was struggling with its health, the staff had failed to take any action or call a vet. Sadly, the dog died a short while later at the kennels.
An investigation undertaken by Central Bedfordshire Council officers highlighted to the court breaches of licence conditions that should have been in place and would have prevented such an incident, and which meant staff would have taken appropriate action when an animal became unwell. The court also heard how the establishment failed to monitor temperatures in the kennels or to train its staff.
Both Mr and Mrs Page (who are retired and no longer run the business) pleaded guilty to failing to comply with their licence conditions and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They were fined £432 for the animal welfare offence, £250 for the five licensing offences, £60 victim surcharge, and prosecution costs of £1925.
The kennels were licenced in December 2016, with new licence conditions which they were given a year to comply with. These included managing temperatures in areas where the dogs were to be kept.
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Animal health and welfare is taken very seriously by the council and our officers will investigate any complaints received.
“The conditions of licence that businesses are expected to adhere to are there specifically for this reason – to make sure all the animals in their care are looked after properly. This terrible incident resulted in an animal dying with unnecessary suffering and has left its owners distraught. The animal’s death could have been easily avoided if the business had listened to the advice and warning previously given by the council.
"Our Public Protection team is available to advise and support businesses to ensure they meet their legal requirements. We would like to remind businesses that are licensed to look after animals to take positive steps to ensure they care for the animals properly, in line with what the law requires. Otherwise, in instances like this, where businesses fail to comply, we will take appropriate enforcement action."