A Birmingham woman has been disqualified from keeping a pet shop for two years after admitting to selling animals from her Erdington home at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (6 July 2016).
Jadwiga Ewa Grum, 37, of Johnson Road, Erdington, pleaded guilty to one offence under the Pet Animals Act 1951, keeping the premises as a pet shop without a licence. She received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £500 towards costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.
Birmingham City Council brought the case against Grum after its animal welfare team received a complaint from colleagues at Surrey Trading Standards.
On 17 September 2015, Surrey Trading Standards contacted the animal welfare about a couple who bought a German shepherd puppy from Grum, who advertised on the Pets4Home website. The puppy was seized and quarantined after it was found to be imported at too young an age: puppies must be 15 weeks old before they can be brought into the UK.
Officers visited Grum’s home on 25 September 2015 and asked to see all the puppies and associated paperwork, including pedigree certificates and pet passports. Four were in the garden and another four were in a van belonging to Grum’s partner. Pet passports were produced for all eight puppies but pedigree certificates were not presented.
It was evident the puppies found on the Johnson Road premises had been imported from Poland, but Grum maintained that she was not selling the puppies over the internet.
Less than a week later, officers discovered Grum’s advert was still on the Pets4Homes website with the same contact details, so arrangements were made to view the puppies on 1 October 2015.
Posing as customers, two officers visited Grum’s home in Johnson Road to see the puppies. When they asked to see the pedigree certificates, these could not be produced.
On 3 November 2015, Grum was interviewed under caution, but continued to deny any trading activity.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This case highlights why it is vital for people to check where they are buying pets from, that the sellers are licensed and can provide all the relevant paperwork, including pedigree certificates. The importation and sale of puppies and dogs is a particular cause for concern and buyers must take additional care.
“Anyone who is in the business of trading and selling animals as pets must have a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951 – no such licence had been issued to Grum’s premises in Johnson Road, Erdington.”