Men jailed for cropping puppies’ ears after horrified cops discovered dogs 'hardly breathing'

Three men have been jailed after they cropped three puppies’ ears in a banned procedure.

Three puppies had been put through the procedure
Three puppies had been put through the procedure

All three men have been disqualified from keeping dogs - two for life and one for 15 years - and served with deprivation orders meaning they have 21 days to rehome any dogs still in their care.

Officers working on the case have described it as something that will stick with them for the rest of their careers.

Three puppies had been put through the procedure

One officer described finding two puppies bleeding with stitches, with a third puppy found in a similar condition hidden behind a sofa.

All three men involved pleaded guilty on July 11.

Ryan Woodward, 24, from Stoke-on-Trent, Alexander David Johnson, 32, from Stoke-on-Trent and Michael Nolan, 31, from Carlisle, were sentenced at Cannock Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

At 7.30 pm on November 10, 2020, Staffordshire Police attended a report of a group of men who were transporting a crate of puppies into a flat on Forest Court, Hanley.

Officers found an operating table and bag containing cash and medical equipment in the flat.

Woodward, Johnson and Nolan were then arrested and the RSPCA took over ownership of the investigation.

PC Rebecca Tyler, the officer in the case, said: "This is something that my colleagues and I will remember for the rest of our careers.

"Two puppies were found bleeding with stitches in their ears and were hardly breathing. Another puppy was found with the same injuries hidden behind a sofa. A further three puppies were in the property but had not had the procedure.”

Johnson was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment and ordered to pay £775 costs for the cropping of ears on three puppies.

Woodward was jailed for 19 weeks and ordered to pay £775 costs after pleading guilty to aid, abet, counsel or procure Alexander David Johnson to carry out a prohibited procedure of cropping the ears of three puppies.

Nolan was jailed for 14 weeks and ordered to pay £400 costs for being responsible for a puppy and allowing another person to carry out a prohibited procedure - cropping of ears on the animal - and permitting it to happen to failing to take steps to stop it.

All three puppies have since recovered from the ordeal and have found loving homes.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Bethel said: "In an independent expert veterinary report, which was presented to the court, it was stated that the cropping of the ears of the puppies would have caused them to suffer unnecessarily even though they were anaesthetised during the actual procedure and they suffered considerable amounts of unnecessary pain and distress after the procedure."

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