In June last year we received a complaint of English Bulldog adults and puppies kept in terrible conditions in Barry, which we immediately passed on to the Vale of Glamorgan Council. They acted swiftly, and on entry found 12 Bulldogs living in "appalling" and "disgusting" conditions. The dogs were suffering from a plethora of health conditions including being severely underweight, spinal issues, inverted tails, inability to walk properly, breathing issues, yeast infections and cherry eye. All twelve seized under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.


The seized dogs came into our care. Sadly, two were euthanised straight away due to their appalling condition and suffering, including a male puppy who had a necrotic rectal prolapse. The other ten dogs then had to battle parvovirus, and we managed to pull them all through. Further investigations and x-rays revealed serious joint and spinal issues, and sadly two more were euthanised in our care and one following adoption.


The case was finally heard at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday 10th November after being delayed due to the defence contesting that we had euthanised the dogs due to costs and not on welfare grounds and we had to provide evidence to the contrary. Bear in mind we spent just under £25,000 in total treating these poor dogs, this just added insult to injury.


Dominic Fouracre and Rachel Lewis had been trying to sell the puppies and boasted of their Posherbulls lines (the Shellards who owned Posherbulls had previously been prosecuted for illegal breeding and animal welfare offences).


Despite the judge stating the conditions "beggared belief", Fouracre was sentenced only to a 22-week jail terms suspended for 12 months and 180 hours of community work. Lewis sentenced to just 14 weeks suspended for 12 months and 120 hours of community service. Costs were also awarded of just £4,000 each which did not even cover the prosecution costs. Fouracre was banned from keeping animals for eight years, but Lewis escaped a ban.


We are hugely grateful to the Vale of Glamorgan Council team who worked so hard on this case. You can read an article produced by Wales Online here. For now, we can say we are deeply upset by the leniency of the sentence. Five dogs dead and seven survivors who suffered so much, but no custodial sentence despite new sentencing guidelines in place.


This outcome will not deter us though in supporting local authorities with their work, in fact it just spurs us on further. We are proud of our collaborative work and the impact it has. If you would like to support us with our much-needed work helping to close illegal and back yard breeders, then we would love to hear from you, you can donate here on our website or contact [email protected]