Dogs kept in cold, without food and water, at illegal Norfolk puppy farm

Rosemary Fabb leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rosemary Fabb leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Dogs were kept outside in the cold without food and water, no toys and limited bedding at an unlicensed puppy farm in north Norfolk, a court heard today.

Rosemary Fabb, 76, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court and admitted 17 counts of breaching animal welfare and operating a breeding establishment without a licence.

The charges she admitted included causing unnecessary suffering to animals and failing to ensure animals' welfare.

Between January 30, 2016, and January 5, 2018, she kept and bred toy and standard poodles and Chihuahuas in unsuitable accommodation, environment and substandard socialisation, causing them undue pain and suffering, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Lynne Shirley told the court how Fabb's 'woefully inadequate' facilities in Roughton caused three members of the public to contact authorities in 2016 and 2017, raising concerns over the health of puppies purchased and their previous living conditions.

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Despite not having held a licence since November 2014, Fabb was still advertising puppies online, she said.

North Norfolk District Council later carried out a test purchase operation of a puppy, which had ground worms and was only five weeks old.

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Fabb first appeared in court in November 2017, but had 11 further charges bought against her when an NNDC officer carried out an inspection of the premises in January 2018.

At the time, Fabb verbally abused the officer and told her: 'I know the Mafia, your daughter better watch out.'

Fabb signed over the 10 remaining dogs following the visit, many of which were found with exposed tooth roots, severe matting and ear infections.

The court heard how the dogs were kept outside without insulation in temperatures of 3C, without food or water, no toys and with limited bedding.

Defending, David Foulkes said: 'Mrs Fabb has recently had a knee operation and was in the process of downsizing her business as a result of her health.'

Susan Alexander, chairman of the bench, sentenced Fabb to a total of 22 concurrent weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

Fabb was also disqualified from running a breeding establishment, and keeping or being involved in the keeping of an animal until further notice.

She was fined a total of £12,731.03p, £10,000 of which is to be paid in the next 28 days.

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