Jamie Colquhoun, 26, of Dundee, was found guilty on 23 November of selling pups without a licence as well as selling animals in a public car park. The puppy dealer’s conviction was the result of Scottish SPCA investigation.

Commenting on the investigation and court case an undercover inspector said, “Colquhoun did not have a licence to sell dogs but continued to do so over a period of time. A number of these dogs, including a malshee and morkie pup, became ill shortly after going home with their new owner. The canines Colquhoun sold were found to have had parvovirus, ear infections, kennel cough, worms and diarrhoea.

Colquhoun ultimately put profit before welfare and this case highlights how the illegal puppy trade is a low risk, high reward industry

“Colquhoun had bred a few of these pups and trafficked the majority of them from the Republic of Ireland. When trafficked pups reach their new owner via dealers they often develop diseases such as parvo virus and giardia. Often the young dogs die from these diseases which can be extremely distressing for the owners.”

That of puppy trading is a large business in Scotland as well as in the rest of the UK, with unscrupulous breeders and dealers selling sickly pups to the unsuspecting public with no regard for the dog’s welfare, or for his new family’s distress when the puppy becomes ill. Many of the smuggled pups the SSPCA deals with are imported from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from large-scale puppy farms.

We currently feel sentencing for animal abuse is very inconsistent in Scotland and we would like to see an increase in the maximum jail sentence which would provide the sheriff with a greater range of options.

“Colquhoun went to extraordinary lengths to get these pups. She travelled by rail and ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, often during the night. Adverts were then posted on sites like Gumtree in an attempt to sell them on at a huge profit,” the investigator added. “Colquhoun ultimately put profit before welfare and this case highlights how the illegal puppy trade is a low risk, high reward industry.”

For all the suffering she caused, Colquhoun was given a 250 hour unpaid community payback order; she received no custodial sentence, and was not banned from keeping animals. 

The investigator added, “Whilst we’re disappointed that she did not receive a ban, we do welcome the fact that she has been dealt with by the court. We currently feel sentencing for animal abuse is very inconsistent in Scotland and we would like to see an increase in the maximum jail sentence which would provide the sheriff with a greater range of options.

“Operation Delphin is a taskforce made up of the Scottish SPCA, the RSPCA, the DSPCA, the ISPCA, and the USPCA with support from HMRC, Police Scotland’s Port Unit and Stena Line. All of whom have the same goal – to bring an end to this cruel trade. Anyone with information about the illegal puppy trade should contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 where all information is treated in the strictest confidence.”

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