A PENSIONER has been banned from keeping dogs for life after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to pets in her care at a suspected puppy farm in Blakeney.

Margaret Davies,74, formerly of Awre Road, Blakeney, but now of Amhurst Crescent, Barry, South Wales appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Monday (November 14) having admitted five animal welfare charges the previous week.

She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a 14-month-old French Bulldog called Winston by failing to get veterinary treatment for a variety of conditions and a similar charge involving another French Bulldog, ‘Amelia,’ by failing to get treatment for tumours and blindness in one eye.

Davies also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a seven-year-old Schnauzer, ‘Nathalie,’ by failing to provide veterinary treatment for severe and painful periodontitis which led to 20 teeth having to be extracted.

She also admitted to meet the needs of 27 dogs and puppies in her care by failing to provide adequate drinking water, clean bedding, a suitable diet and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease on July 1, last year.

Three charges against Mrs Davies’ husband William Davies were withdrawn after the prosecution offered no evidence.

Barrister Greg Gordon, representing Forest of Dean Council, explained that the local authority had received reports that the couple had been running an unlicensed puppy farm at their home at Hagloe House in Blakeney.

Mr Gordon said: “As a result of this information council officers and police officers attended the property on July 1, last year with a search warrant and found a large amount of dogs on the property, many with litters, which confirmed to them that unlicensed breading of puppies was being undertaken.

“However, Davies was never charged with this offence as the conditions that the dogs were being kept, under the terms of the Welfare Act, was considered to be far more serious.

“Additionally, it was considered at this time that there was enough evidence to charge the couple with running an unlicensed puppy farm. However, paperwork produced during the preparation for the three-day trial revealed such allegations as being confirmed, and that it had been running for many, many years.”

Mr Gordon said the dogs were housed in four separate places – two barns that were in a state of disrepair, outside metal pens and inside the main house.

The whole site raised health concerns and some of the dogs should have been seen by a vet – one of the bulldogs had visible problems with its eyes and it has since lost its sight.

Mr Gordon said: “Inside the main dwelling house there was a corgi with a litter of eight puppies, a Schnauzer with a litter of puppies. One of the corgi puppies was immediately seized by the inspectors, as it was unresponsive and lifeless and shown to Davies, who appeared to be wholly uncaring over its welfare.

The court heard that the following day, July 2, 2021, the Davies’ were served with an improvement notice, but they made little effort to comply with the order.

Mr Gordon said that none of the dogs seized by the local authority appeared to have been socialised or handled with any care or affection and said that the Davies’ viewed these dogs as commodities and not pets’.

Davies claimed that they used a particular vet, but when the council made checks with the veterinarian, he said he had not treated any of the Davies’ dogs for a good number of years.

The court heard that Margaret Davies had been convicted in January 2015 for keeping a breading establishment without a license between February and July, 2014. She was prohibited from keeping a breading establishment for three years, which expired in 2018.

Mr Gordon said: “It is clear that order was not observed as paperwork shows that Davies was active during this period. This evidence only became available during the investigation for the trial.”

Heath Thomas, defending, said that his client would benefit from a pre-sentence report.

District Judge Nicholas Wattam imposed an immediate ban on Davies owning dogs for the rest of her life.

He also ordered for pre-sentence reports to be prepared on her. Davies was released on unconditional bail to return to the court on February 6 for sentencing.