UKs first private prosecution of unlicensed dog breeding

Nicola Ruth Palmer of Adams Place, Kesgrave, Ipswich appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday (6th Jan 2021) charged with licensing offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It follows an incident where Ms. Palmer was alleged to have stolen two dogs from a charity, Phoenix Rehoming, that she volunteered for. It was later revealed that Ms. Palmer bred the dogs in her possession.

She pleaded guilty to operating a business of breeding and selling dogs without a license.

She was sentenced to a conditional discharge and made to pay a £230 contribution towards the prosecutions costs.

The case was brought by Animal Protection Services as a private criminal prosecution, utilising powers contained within section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.  It is believed to be the first private prosecution for the unlicensed sales of puppies and one of a handful of prosecutions ever to be taken under the legislation.

The conviction has been recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC). The prosecution was represented by Pamela Rose of 1MCB and James Parry of Parry and Welch Solicitors LLP.


As a small charity, we can only continue investigating organised animal cruelty with your help. Please consider making a generous donation to our Prosecutions Fund today.

3 thoughts on “UKs first private prosecution of unlicensed dog breeding”

  1. Thank you for all you gave done and are doing. How these ‘people’ sleep at night I don’t know. How can they say they love animals then just treat them as money-making machines is beyond belief, but also steal the poor animals in the first place!!😪😪 once again thank you for your hard work. 👏👏

  2. Well done in prosecuting ! The sentence was not enough tho. The way those poor animals suffer is appalling. I have two ex breeding dogs and the state they arrived in was hard to believe. One little Yorkie I rescued was so emancipated she snatched a banana skin and tried to eat it and also would try to get food from my mouth . It was heartbreaking. She had a happy 8 years with me till she died.

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