Carmarthenshire Council has taken a number of suffering dogs from the hands of a breeder this week.

As temperatures soared across Wales, animal health officers found the dogs to be in bad state of health and living in exceptionally poor conditions.

They were locked in a house with no ventilation, water, food or a clean area to sleep. Upon rescuing the dogs, veterinarian opinion indicated that based on their physical and mental conditions, that the animals had not been sufficiently exercised or socialised.

The council takes a zero tolerance approach on anyone failing to care for animals and illegal dog breeding.

Any person who owns or is responsible for an animal has a legal obligation to ensure its welfare needs are met. Anyone failing to do so can be sent to prison.

Also, anybody who is breeding three or more litters or supplying any dogs not bred by themselves must be licensed by the local authority, which are checked annually in unannounced visits.

Officers are urging anyone who is buying a puppy or dog to check the status of a breeder with the council beforehand.

They should also view the puppy with its mother and ask all necessary questions with regard to vaccinations, healthcare, diet, etc.

The council’s executive board member responsible for animal health, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “We would strongly advise anyone thinking of buying a puppy to think carefully about the commitment they are making, and whether they can afford to provide the animal with everything it needs throughout its lifetime. We would also stress the importance of doing plenty of research not only into the breed, but also into the breeder themselves.

Failure to care for animals and illegal dog breeding are very serious issues and we will not hesitate to utilise the law and the court service in dealing with any perpetrators.”

The law states that any person who owns or is responsible for an animal has a legal obligation to ensure its welfare needs are met. Failing to do so is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and can carry a fine of up to £20,000 and up to 51 weeks imprisonment.

All animals must, as a minimum; be provided with a suitable environment in which to live, be provided with a healthy diet, and fresh, clean drinking water at all times, have the opportunity to behave normally and have appropriate company.

If anyone has any concerns with regards to illegal dog breeding they can report it by phoning 01267 234567 and if they have any concerns with regards to the welfare of animals they can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 9999.