A man has been jailed for permitting the cropping of his nine puppies’ ears.
Adam Malik, 29, of Alcove Road in Bristol, appeared at the city's magistrates’ court on Thursday 6 May to be sentenced.
It follows him pleading guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in March this year.
Malik admitted he had arranged for someone to come to his home, take the puppies away and crop their ears. He paid £3,000 for all nine pups to have their ears cropped.
The puppies were found on January 6 after RSPCA inspector Kimmy Walters visited the address in Alcove Road. It followed a report from a member of the public with concerns about the welfare of the dogs at the property.
Kimily said: “A member of the public had contacted our cruelty line and was worried about the welfare of the dogs, reporting that a litter of puppies had had their ears cropped.
“I attended the home with police and Malik invited us inside. In one room of the outhouse there was a litter of nine, 15-week-old bull breed puppies. They were all fast asleep, piled on top of each other in a makeshift kennel area.
"It was clean and tidy and the puppies appeared in good condition but had all had their ears cropped. Their ears were red, crusty and had not yet healed.
“He told me he had bred the puppies and that he owned their mother, Xena, and father, Pablo. Both dogs were outside along with a third, an eight-month-old called Skittles who he explained he’d also bred.
"Pablo also had cropped ears and Malik explained that he’d been cropped before buying him and importing him from overseas.”
Another female dog and her 12 four-week-old puppies were being kept in a shower cubicle. Police seized all 13 dogs as well as Skittles and took them in.
Officers also seized the nine cropped puppies who went into RSPCA care.
The court heard Malik intended to sell the puppies. They had received no pain relief following the cropping of their ears until they were taken into RSPCA care around three weeks later.
At court he admitted to permitting the puppies’ ears to be cropped. He was sentenced to 14 weeks custody and was disqualified from keeping dogs for 15 years.
Sentencing Malik, magistrates said: “You arranged for the puppies to be cropped through someone you didn’t know… [they] were given no pain relief.
"The puppies continued to suffer pain and wound infection and you must have known they were suffering and they continued to suffer. They saw no vet and it was all for commercial gain. You have no license to breed these dogs. We can only order custody as the offence is so serious.”
Kimily added: “Many of these pups have had ongoing problems caused by their cropped ears, including recurrent infections. One, Zeus, needed an operation because two of the staples, used to seal the wound after the procedure, had become embedded inside his right ear."
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Ear cropping is a painful process which is carried out purely for cosmetic reasons and is often done to make a dog look more intimidating. It can, however, have lifelong implications on the dog’s health and behaviour.
“Dogs can suffer from infected wounds as well as chronic ear infections, while some may remain incredibly sensitive and head shy for their whole lives. Dogs use their ears to communicate with other dogs and with humans and some cropped dogs coming into our care have demonstrated behavioural problems caused by an inability to do this normally.”
The nine puppies taken into RSPCA care are now all in foster homes. Their foster families will now be able to adopt them.