A WOMAN was ordered to pay more than £26,700 after admitting running an unlicensed puppy breeding operation in Cross Hands.

Kristina Barton, 28, of Heol Dinefwr, admitted three charges under the Animal Welfare Act at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on March 24 last year.

Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings were launched, where the prosecution alleged that Barton profited to the sum of around £31,000 from the illegal puppy sales.

Swansea Crown Court heard that Barton had bred as many as nine litters of puppies during that period.

The case was brought to light after multiple complaints from concerned neighbours to Carmarthenshire County Council and Dyfed-Powys Police.

The investigation began in April 2020 when Barton initially inquired about a dog breeding licence. Despite being provided with an information pack, subsequent complaints from neighbouring properties surfaced, leading to allegations of illegal dog breeding, unauthorised construction of kennels and stables, noise disturbances from barking dogs, and dogs straying and fouling outside the property.

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In May 2021, an advert on the Pets4Homes website revealed that Barton was advertising a litter of puppies, prompting a warning letter from Carmarthenshire County Council. However, the situation escalated when Dyfed Powys Police received additional complaints in April 2022.

A Data Protection Act request, by the Local Authority to Pets4Homes, uncovered that Barton bred as many as nine litters of puppies and offered four individual dogs for sale between May 17, 2021, and July 30 last year – all without the required dog breeding license.

Despite previous advisories, Barton continued her breeding operations, leading to legal action by the County Council.

Barton was ordered to pay £26,721.12 at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, as well as £500 in costs and a £22 surcharge.

She was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge for each offence.

A Carmarthenshire County Council spokesperson said the council had “taken decisive action” against Barton and that the extensive investigation into alleged illegal dog breeding activities “revealed a blatant disregard for regulations and numerous breaches of the law”.

Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, cabinet member for climate change, decarbonisation and sustainability, said: “This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to dog breeding regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses to ensure so that we, as a council, can correctly monitor the welfare of the animals involved.”