Puppy owner wrongly accused of abuse.

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Puppy owner wrongly accused of abuse.

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:30 pm


A dog owner has told of her nightmare after being dragged through the courts when animal wardens wrongly took her beloved puppies into care.

Mother Tracey Johnson, from Snodland, and her then 16-year-old daughter, suffered a year of anguish - facing prosecution and being separated from their puppies.

Now Tracey has told of her relief, after being forced to give evidence in front of magistrates to prove she didn't mistreat five newborn cocker spaniels.

The case was brought by the RSPCA, who claimed they had found the puppies shivering and wet in Miss Johnson's garden.

But Medway’s District Judge Michael Kelly criticised the charity for putting Miss Johnson and her daughter Sophie, now 17, through their unnecessary ordeal.

During a court hearing, he said: “My view to criminalise a mother and daughter in this way, who in the previous seven weeks had cared properly for these puppies, was wrong.

“Their (the RSPCA) actions in this case were draconian and could have been dealt with by a warning; to prosecute them was going too far.

“To prosecute a 16-year-old in these circumstances was totally inappropriate, the proceedings should never have been brought. She clearly had very little involvement with these animals and was not responsible for them.”

Mum-of-one Tracey returned to her Tilghams Way home in March 2011 to find the litter of pups in one of the charity’s vans.

An officer had gained access to her back garden through a neighbour’s property and had jumped the fence.

The drama unfolded two weeks after Tracey has discovered the animals' mum, Mollie, dying from toxic poisoning in the garden.

She was taken to the vets but had to be put to sleep. It is not known how the mother was taken ill.

The puppies were put into foster homes throughout the year-long legal proceedings and were only returned after the court hearing.

All of the pets have now been rehomed, two back to their foster families, but Tracey and Sophie kept one with the dogs’ dad, Casper. They have named the new addition Jasmine.

Tracey, a carer, said: “I’ve never been treated in such an awful way. I wasn’t allowed to see the puppies at all or find out how they were.

“I’ve always had dogs so to be accused of mistreating them was heartbreaking. I’m just pleased it’s all over and they are all in good homes.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “The five puppies, which were only a few weeks old, were removed from a garden in Snodland as they were found shivering and wet by the RSPCA inspector.

“In the absence of the mother dog and the owner, the inspector made a decision - based on veterinary advice - to intervene in the best interests of the animals.

“The RSPCA took a prosecution in order that a magistrates court could make a decision on the future of these animals and respects the decision that the court made.”
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