Backyard dog dealer banned and fined $34,000 (Fay Marie Armstrong)

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A backyard dog dealer has been permanently banned from keeping more than one dog and fined a total of $34,000 after being convicted of 17 animal cruelty charges brought by Consumer Protection in the Perth Magistrates Court today.

Fay Marie Armstrong, who operated from her home in Spearwood as well as a property at Korrelocking (near Wyalkatchem), was also ordered to pay court costs of $9,507.

The charges under the Animal Welfare Act followed the execution of a search warrant on the two properties in October 2010 where several dogs and puppies were found to be in poor health and living in appalling conditions. The investigation by Consumer Protection was as a result of complaints from consumers about the poor health of dogs being sold by Armstrong.

Lawyers for Consumer Protection told the court that seven dogs were kept in small airline travel crates in one bedroom of the house, where there was a strong smell of ammonia and little fresh air circulating in the room.

The dogs were examined by veterinary experts who concluded that many of them were emaciated and suffered from muscle wasting due to their confinement. All were malnourished and dehydrated and one was suffering from a serious eye injury.

At the Korrelocking property, inspectors found the kennels were covered in canine faeces and water bowls were polluted with urine, faeces, old dog biscuits, dog saliva and dead flies.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said keeping animals under these intolerable conditions is totally unacceptable.

“We welcome the court’s decision to ban Ms Armstrong from keeping more than one dog which curtails her dog selling activities,” Ms Driscoll said.

“We would caution consumers to only deal with reputable breeders and demand to see a veterinarian’s report or to have pets they plan to purchase examined or certified by a veterinarian to help ensure they are healthy at the time of sale.”

In August this year, the Commissioner for Consumer Protection took Supreme Court action against Ms Armstrong and obtained an injunction against her to stop selling diseased animals and to pay $3,374 in compensation to consumers and the Commissioner’s costs of $5,362.50. Ms Armstrong provided an enforceable undertaking in July 2011 not to sell diseased animals, or any animal which has not been vet-checked and vaccinated, but had not honoured the undertaking.

END OF RELEASE

Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce.

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Media Contact:
Alan Hynd
9282 0961 or 0429-078791
alan.hynd@commerce.wa.gov.au

Consumer Protection
Media release
27 Nov 2012

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