A WORDSLEY woman has been ordered to pay a court bill of nearly £3,000 after admitting running a puppy sale business illegally.

Dudley Council successfully prosecuted Jacqueline Dowling under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The 50-year-old, of Smallshire Way, pleaded guilty to breeding dogs and advertising them for sale without a licence between February 2020 and August 2022.

While there was no evidence of maltreatment, the breeding, advertising and selling of dogs, primarily English and French Bulldogs, was taken as evidence that she was operating a business and therefore required a licence.

Dog breeding licences allow Dudley Council to ensure such activities are carried out by suitable people and that relevant checks are undertaken to ensure animal welfare and safety is being maintained.

It was unclear how many dogs and puppies had been sold but Dudley Magistrates' Court saw Breeders Records from the Kennel Club and evidence of advertisements of puppies for sale in various online publications.

The court was also made aware the defendant was prepared to provide credit facilities to help a sale.

Magistrates sentenced Dowling to a 12-month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

She was also ordered to pay a £360 fine, costs of £2,308 and a victim surcharge of £90 - totalling £2,758.

Councillor Ian Bevan Dudley Council's cabinet member responsible for Environmental Health and Trading Standards, said: "While there was no evidence of maltreatment of any animals in this case it was still essential that it was brought to court.

"Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling animals without a licence is illegal.

"Licensing allows us to undertake checks on a business to ensure that all welfare standards are being met and animals are leading healthy, happy and safe lives and I’m pleased we got this outcome which hopefully sends the message to other people that we take animal welfare extremely seriously."