1. ITV Report

Smuggler fined for illegally bringing puppies into UK

A smuggler has been banned from keeping animals after he was caught illegally bringing puppies into Britain.

Alexandru-Constantin Ghita, 28, was banned from having any animal for five years after he was caught smuggling Romanian-born French Bulldog pups into Britain.

He was convicted of two counts of landing an animal, one count of trading an unlicensed pet shop and one count of failing to ensure the needs of a protected animal at Hendon Magistrates' Court.

Ghita was banned by magistrates from keeping any animals for five years and fined £3,335.

The plot came to light after police were called to an address in Northwood. Officers found six young puppies running loose in a cluttered garage with no natural light or water.

The puppies, four French bulldogs and two pugs, were taken into police possession under the Animal Welfare Act.

A veterinary surgeon determined they had originated from abroad and were under-age to have been lawfully imported.

The case was eventually passed to the Animal Health Inspectors from the City of London Corporation who ordered that the puppies be placed into quarantine.

Ghita, a Romanian national, was identified as the person responsible for landing the animals and in an interview he claimed he was bringing the the animals to the UK as gifts for his friends and not as a commercial activity,

But the investigations found adverts had been placed online offering the dogs for sale and that they had been imported from Romania undergoing a 48 hour journey across Europe to reach the UK.

He was eventually charged with two counts of Landing Animals - Contrary to the Rabies for the importation of dogs, cats and other mammals Order, under the Animal Health Act 1981.

He was also charged with count of trading as an unlicensed pet shop and one count of failing to ensure the needs protected animal,.

Ghita, of Harrow, north west London, pleaded guilty to all the charges at Hendon Magistrates court last week,

The police say the dogs have now been re-homed with the Dogs Trust.

Ghita kept these animals in poor conditions without any consideration for their needs.

We are pleased to see that they are now safe and will be re-homed by our colleagues at the Dogs Trust, who have homed them in their kennels at their own expense. We are very grateful.

– Inspector Paddy O'Hara, Met's Status Dog Unit