Appeals to Kennel Club in Leonberger tragedy
There have been calls for the Kennel Club to intervene over the sentence issued by the Dumfries Sheriff Court to breeder and exhibitor Lynda Fedorec of Dumfriesshire, who last week pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and was given a five year ban and a £480 fine for causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.
OUR DOGS covered the tragic story last year, when the Scottish SPA responded to a phone call regarding animal abandonment back in February at Fedorec’s then home, Balgray Home Farm, Lockerby. The investigation uncovered a garage full of dogs and puppies that were being kept in shocking conditions. The animals were found malnourished and living in cages. Sadly, one Leonburger puppy had already died after getting its midriff trapped between bars. A post-mortem revealed that the puppy had been dead for 24 hours.
The five year ban and £480 fine has been called “unsatisfactory” by some, including Joan Rushby of the well known Jocolda Leonbergers, who has been breeding since the early ‘70s and had previously sold puppies to Fedorec.
Understandably, Mrs Rushby was distressed to learn that a puppy sired by one of her dogs had died in Fedorec’s care. She told OUR DOGS that the puppies were “sold in good faith,” and that Balgray Home Farm was a seemingly ideal place for the dogs. “Anyone would have sold her their dogs,” she said.
After being good friends with Fedorec and her family for several years, Mrs Rushby was shocked to learn of the neglect that had been going on unnoticed until the tip off received by the Scottish SPCA. Fedorec, who had been breeding and showing dogs for 12 years, was suffering from “personal difficulties” at the time, according to her solicitor, Ranald Lindsay.
Calling the £480 fine “ridiculous” given the appalling circumstances in which the dogs were kept, Mrs Rushby told OUR DOGS that she recently sent information to the Kennel Club. “Hopefully they will intervene,” she said, welcoming, along with the investigating Scottish SPCA inspectors, a sentence that would be more appropriate to the cruelty the dogs had to endure.
Inspector June Chalcroft of the Scottish SPA said that a life ban would have been more appropriate due to the “horrific conditions” in which the animals were found.
The surviving animals have all since been re-homed.
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