Woman banned from buying dogs after running puppy farm in appalling conditions
PUBLISHED: 08:13 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 11 October 2019
A woman allowed her premises to be used as a puppy farm despite being aware of the "appalling conditions" dogs were being kept in, a court has heard.
Carol Rushmer, 59, of Low Road, Thurlton, appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court on Thursday, October 10.
The court heard that although Rushmer was not involved in the sale of the dogs, at times she was responsible for looking after some of the puppies which had suffered because of the appalling conditions they were being kept in on her land.
Jonathan Eales, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said it was Rushmer's children Michael and Zoe with her partner Jacob Murphy who ran the puppy farm.
In June this year, Michael Rushmer and Murphy were jailed for three-and-a-half years after they admitted tricking animal lovers the sick and dying dogs they sold for hundreds of pounds were from a loving home.
The fraud took place from 2016 to 2018.
Carol Rushmer pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and keeping a breeding establishment for dogs without a licence.
Mr Eales said RSPCA inspectors visited the premises in Thurlton in April 2018 and found four puppies which Rushmer was looking after were "suffering", with a number of them abnormally thin or weak.
The dogs were being kept in kennels and cages and several of them had faeces in their fur.
Mr Eales told the court when inspectors tried to quiz Rushmer about her role in the puppy farm she refused to be interviewed.
Rob Pollington, for Rushmer, said the puppy farm had started after the family got into "significant debt" and "was on the brink of bankruptcy".
He said Rushmer was "in no way involved in the selling of the puppies" and had been "humiliated" by the whole case.
Mr Pollington described her as a "pawn in a game played by horrible people".
The court heard that Rushmer continues to look after two dogs and horses who are in good condition.
Rushmer was given a curfew to remain at her property between 7pm and 7am for 14 weeks and was disqualified from buying or selling dogs for two years.
She was ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £85.