Woman fined for running a pet shop without a licence

Released on November 7, 2017

A woman from Ashbury in the Vale of White Horse has been ordered to pay £1,630 after being found guilty of running a pet shop without a licence.

Helen Moorey, 55, of Idstone Road, Ashbury, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 2 November when she was found guilty of breaching Section 1 of the Pet Animals Act 1951.

In court six witnesses gave evidence that Ms Moorey had been involved with puppy sales between August 2016 and May 2017.  Given the frequency that puppies were available for sale, and the fact Moorey refused to let anyone into her property to allow them to meet the puppies’ mother, it was clear this was a commercial operation and would therefore have required a licence.

Ms Moorey, who had previously refused to be interviewed under caution, did not provide any evidence at the trial.

In sentencing the District Judge took Ms Moorey’s limited means into account, along with other recent convictions for fraud relating to the sale of puppies, for which she was serving a prison sentencing.  He ordered her to pay a fine of £600, a victim surcharge of £30 and a contribution towards prosecution costs of £1,000.

The case was prosecuted in court by Vale of White Horse District Council following an animal welfare complaint investigation by the council’s Environmental Protection Team.

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Environmental Health at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We take the welfare of animals very seriously.  It is extremely important that anyone who makes a living from their sale is properly licensed and maintains the standards required.  Our environmental health officers will not hesitate to take action against anyone who is suspected of flouting the law in this way.”