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Caerphilly man guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his dogs

Posted on : 27 Feb 2024

Caerphilly man guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his dogs

On 8 February 2024, a Caerphilly man pled guilty at Cwmbran Magistrates Court to animal welfare charges, which included seven charges of failing to meet welfare needs of dogs under his care to the extent required by good practice and three charges of causing unnecessary suffering contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Simon Hobbs (aged 46) was fined £360 for causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs including a pregnant Belgian Malinois.  Hobbs was ordered to pay costs of £7,884 and a victim surcharge of £144.  He was disqualified from keeping all animals for five years.

The sentencing follows an investigation by Caerphilly Council’s Trading Standards team who executed a number of warrants, in June 2023.

Trading Standards and Gwent Police officers accompanied by a vet carried out a search of Hobbs’ home and found six dogs in the kitchen; three French Bulldogs were housed in a very small cage.  Conditions in the kitchen were cramped, overcrowded and uncomfortable with lack of space to play, toilet and feed.  The dogs shared one food tray and two bowls of water.  One of the dogs, a pregnant Belgian Malinois was significantly underweight.  She gave birth to 8 puppies 10 days later.
An Akita was found in an outside lean-to wooden kennel in direct sunlight, with no soft bedding or enrichment.  Temperatures recorded early in the day, exceeded 26 degrees, the maximum accepted temperature for dogs.
Three dogs were found with conditions which caused them unnecessary suffering due to a lack of veterinary intervention and management.
The dogs were removed and placed into the care of Hope Rescue, who we would like to thank for looking after them and particularly for the intensive care they provided to the Belgian Malinois and her puppies.  
Sara Rosser, Operations Manager of Hope Rescue Centre said,
“We were pleased to be able to support the hard work of Caerphilly County Borough Council with this case. It was shocking to see so many dogs living in such awful conditions.
The dogs needed vet treatment and specialist care - one of the dogs who especially touched and saddened us was the Malinois who we named Jinx. As well as being in an awful condition, she was pregnant. We were very concerned that she would not have the strength to give birth and care for her litter but thanks for the hard work of the Hope Rescue Team, all 8 puppies survived, and Jinx is now thriving.
We are delighted that most of the dogs have already found loving new homes.'  

Cllr Philippa Leonard, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said “animal welfare is a high priority for the authority and this prosecution should act as a deterrent to others who fail to meet the needs of animals and cause them unnecessary suffering. 

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