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Friday, August 5, 2011

Dog breeders 'put 12 pedigree pets in REMOVAL LORRY' for 200-mile trip in 30c heat

-Police consider animal cruelty charge after dogs found in lorry on one of the hottest days of the year

By Daily Mail Reporter

Caged animals: The pedigree dogs are still in metal containers after being seized from their owners from a removal van on a 200-mile journey

Two prize winning dog breeders may face prosecution after they loaded 12 pedigree dogs into a removal lorry for a 200-mile journey in sweltering 30c heat.

Alan and Julie Weatherley, who were placed at Crufts in 2005 with one of their dogs, were planning to travel from London to Doncaster in a house move when they were stopped by police.

Officers found the Airedale terriers stacked in cages in sweltering temperatures with little or no ventilation. They were alongside furniture and other possessions.

The couple, who are both Kennel Club accredited Airedale breeders, could now be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Officers were called after a complaint from a neighbour on Tuesday that one of the caged dogs had fallen off the wagon into the road.

With temperatures soaring as high as 28.8c, the dogs were unloaded in the street and the Weatherleys were forced to make their journey to Yorkshire without them.

Police have temporarily rehoused the dogs - which can fetch up to £1,000 each - and are looking into whether there is sufficient grounds to prosecute.

Inspector Colin Baker of Sutton Police said: 'The animals have been removed from a potentially dangerous vehicle and we will now investigate.'

The Weatherleys, from Avenue Road, Belmont, have been accredited by the Kennel Club since July 2009 but the body described their actions as 'misguided' and have contacted the authorities.

Cruel: Police are considering prosecuting the couple after the dogs were recovered from the lorry with no ventilation or windows on one of the hottest days of the year

Questioned: A man is held by police after the dogs were seized from the removal lorry after the vehicle was deemed 'potentially dangerous'

A policeman at the scene said the removals lorry had little or no ventilation, but had been told the couple planned to stop every half an hour on the journey to walk and water the animals.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'Any dog owner needs to ensure that their dogs are transported in comfortable and safe conditions, and this means that they must be kept cool and not be too cramped. If it can be proven that dogs were caused suffering then owners can be prosecuted.'

A spokesman for the Kennel Club said any breeder they accredit had to commit to good breeding practices and that the club were concerned about how people move dogs.

He said: 'It is imperative that people have adequate transport arrangements for their dogs in hot weather, which includes access to water and proper ventilation and this is included amongst the extensive guidelines in the scheme.

Inspection: Police look inside the removal van, which was being driven from London to Doncaster

'We have the power to discipline or remove breeders from the scheme, as appropriate, if their standards are found wanting.

'To date 212 have been removed which demonstrates our commitment to upholding the standards of the scheme.

'No complaint has been made against the breeders in question since they joined the scheme in 2009 but we are in contact with the relevant authorities about this incident and will act accordingly.'

A couple who were set to move into the home at midday on Tuesday were left waiting outside while police held the cages containing the dogs on the driveway.

A police spokesman said: 'Police were called following reports of several dogs being loaded into a removal van. The dogs were removed from the vehicle and housed temporarily with a nearby resident.

'A man and woman, both aged in their 50s, have been processed for animal cruelty offences.'

One furious neighbour who called the police said: 'We couldn't believe how many dogs were in the van especially given that it was almost 30 degrees today.

'The dogs have such thick coats and looked really hot - as the police opened up the vans the crates seemed to fall out as they were so badly stacked.

'Most of the residents on this street are completely incensed about this.'



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