Couple banned from keeping pets after cropping pups’ ears

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Khaleesi with cropped ears

A couple from Warwickshire have been banned for life from keeping animals after admitting to having the ears of their three puppies – Khaleesi, Nymeria, and Enemy – cropped in an illegal operation.

The news comes right after the RSPCA released figures showing “a 621% increase in the number of reports of ear cropping and cropped ears made to the animal welfare charity in the last six years”, and renewed calls to ban the importation of dogs with cropped ears from abroad.

Ear cropping is illegal in illegal in England and Wales under Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and has been outlawed in England since 1899, but is still being carried out illegally. On Friday 29 January, the body of a young puppy was found dumped with crudely cropped, infected ears and a broken neck; it is suspected he may have been killed after becoming ill following the mutilation.

Luckily things turned out better for Khaleesi, Nymeria, and Enemy. Owners Lucy Thompson and James Voice, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, both pleaded guilty to having their ears cropped. As well as being disqualified from keeping animals for life, they were sentenced to 18-month community orders with requirements for 100 hours of unpaid work and, a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and were orderd to pay £250 each in costs.

RSPCA officers visited their property with police on 27 August 2020. Inspector Beth Boyd said, “Police had a warrant to search for puppies with illegally cropped ears. There were three XL American bully puppies inside, all with cropped ears.

“Thirteen-week-olds Khaleesi and Nymeria, and 10-week-old Enemy all had the tips of their ears removed. This process can be incredibly painful for dogs and can also cause long-term health, welfare and behaviour problems for the dogs.”

She added, “As part of our enquiries we spoke to vets who had seen Khaleesi and Nymeria for vaccinations and they confirmed that both dogs had their ears intact at that point, meaning the cropping must have been carried out by the owners after their first vaccinations.”

Now that both former owners have been banned from keeping animals, they have lost ownership of all three dogs and they can be rehomed.

Beth added, “Police seized all three dogs and they have remained in our care during the case. Thankfully, they’ve been in foster homes where they’ve been doing really well and we’re thrilled that we can now rehome them all.”

Images by RSPCA

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