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Puppies put in danger by illegal tail docking
11:30am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
A HEREFORD woman accused of allowing seven puppies to have their tails docked told an RSPCA inspector “they sell better without them”, a court heard.
The young rottweilers belonging to Susan Kerton and her husband Robert were less than a week old when they had their tails cut in April.
RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd told a trial at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday that the docking, an illegal cosmetic practice, was carried out in Wales to a very poor standard, although all the animals survived.
“I was shocked at the length of the stumps,” said Insp Boyd.
“They were cut very near the spine. Docking can cause severe nerve damage and even death if done improperly.”
The couple were spoken to by Insp Boyd at their Charlton Avenue home in Newton Farm at the beginning of May following an anonymous tip off.
Initially Mr Kerton said the couple only owned two adult dogs at the address but Insp Season of mists is captured on camera Boyd heard “high-pitched squeaking noises” from an upstairs bedroom and says she was allowed by the pair to investigate.
In the room she saw eight puppies, seven with docked tails. The inspector said one had an infection.
Prosecutor Nick Sutton said Insp Boyd spoke to Mrs Kerton in the house and asked why the tails had been cut.
He said her reply was: “They sell better without tails. I know it’s an offence in Herefordshire.”
In court, Mrs Kerton denied any knowledge the docking was going to take place, saying she was in town when it happened.
“I was horrified when I found out they had been docked,” she said. “It is just by hearsay that I know people prefer them without tails.
“When I realised they had had their tails docked I cried.”
She said she wouldn’t have let her husband take them away had she known.
But magistrates found her guilty of knowing the dogs were going to be docked.
Mr Kerton earlier admitted allowing the puppies to be docked.
The pair will be sentenced next week.