Published April 10, 2019 at 11:55
A Rossendale man has been found guilty of eight offences after his boarding establishment for dogs was found to be in breach of licensing rules and for running a boarding establishment without the necessary licence.
Richard Coop pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the conditions of his licence for home boarding under the Animal Establishments Act of 1963 as well as operating a further boarding establishment without the authority of a licence and was ordered to pay a £315 fine, £1,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £31.
Coop was granted a licence by Rossendale Borough Council in April 2018 to keep a boarding establishment for animals at Heald Lane Farm, Heald Lane, Weir, Bacup. The second boarding establishment was discovered when a licensing enforcement officer was assigned the renewal of his licence.
In the course of dealing with the application for the home property at Heald Lane Farm, Coop revealed that he and his partner ran a grooming parlour in Rawtenstall called Happy Dogs and Pets and because of this, they took the boarded dogs to the shop with them all day, five days out of seven.
Coop was advised by the licensing enforcement officer that dogs boarded at the shop would require an animal boarding establishment licence. Coop said that not only could he not afford to licence the shop as well as his home address but he couldn’t run both businesses if he was expected to be present at the home address with the dogs. Coop did not pursue a licence application for the grooming shop and continued to board dogs at the unlicensed grooming shop. Coop pleaded guilty to operating a boarding establishment for dogs without the authority of a licence.
Coop’s failure to comply with the conditions imposed upon the licence granted to him in respect of Heald Lane Farm, Weir was discovered after the owner of the deceased dog contacted the Public Protection Unit about the death.
An investigation by Rossendale Borough Council found that the boarded dogs were not visited at regular intervals and were left unattended for three hours at a time.
On one occasion, dogs from different households were left unattended in dog cages, for approximately five hours. In this time, two dogs managed to escape the cages and one was attacked and ultimately killed by the other dog.
Coop also boarded dogs from different homes together without gaining written consent from owners, did not get written proof of dog vaccinations, was not registered with a veterinary practice for emergency help and did not keep a register of dogs boarding at Heald Lane Farm.
Other offences included not displaying a copy of the licence at the premises or making it available to each boarder.
Phil Morton, Public Protection Manager, said:
We take animal welfare very seriously and will ensure any breach of licensing conditions are dealt with rigorously. Boarding in a home environment should not be seen to be any less controlled than any other boarding establishment and the same care must be taken with treatment and statutory controls”