An investigation into allegations of unlicensed breeding and selling of dogs has involved a warrant being carried out at a Romney Marsh smallholding.

Sixty-five dogs were discovered living in poor conditions in former pig sties, stables and in a static caravan during the warrant on land in St Mary In The Marsh.

The warrant was carried out on Thursday (29 September 2022) by officers from Folkestone & Hythe District Council with support from Kent Police and the RSPCA.

A vet also attended and examined all the large and small breed dogs and crossbreeds. Two dogs were taken away for immediate veterinary treatment after being certified as suffering under the Animal Welfare Act. They are continuing to receive treatment for serious conditions and being cared for elsewhere.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

The warrant had been issued by a district judge under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is part of an ongoing investigation by F&HDC as the authority licenses dog breeding and advertising the business of breeding dogs and selling puppies. 

Cllr Stuart Peall, F&HDC Cabinet member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste & Building Services said: “Earlier in the year efforts were made to work with the site owner but unfortunately permission for council officers to attend the site was withdrawn by the owner.

“The licensing team’s investigation continued and when we were advised that no improvements were made, we had to resort to applying for a warrant to allow officers to check the welfare of the large number of dogs and to establish whether puppies are being sold.”

Acting Inspector Greg Pochin, of Kent Police’s Folkestone Community Safety Unit, said: “Puppies bred at unlicensed sites can be sold when they are too young, without the necessary vaccinations and with fraudulent paperwork.

“Kent Police will continue to work closely with partner agencies to assist with the investigation into such sites, help with enforcement work and, where necessary, take action against those involved.”

The investigation into the unlicensed breeding and selling of dogs is continuing. No arrests have been made.

Information about animal activity licensing can be found on the council website 

If anyone has concerns about a breeder or establishment they can share information by contacting

When looking to take on a puppy, prospective owners are urged to follow advice on the RSPCA website

By Ed

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