Karl and Victoria Shellard have been breeding English Bulldogs in South Wales since 2014.
Over the years, they sold hundreds of puppies and made quite a name for themselves. Thanks to their colourful Instagram account which gained over 40K followers, they became nationally and internationally recognised for breeding their dogs.
Breeders break animal welfare laws
However, when the couple’s home was raided by authorities in 2019, it was discovered that they had never applied for a breeding license. Tools used for artificial insemination were also found, which lead investigators to discovering that the couple had disregarded animal welfare laws.
Indeed, they forced their dogs to have back-to-back litters – usually two a year – whilst the law clearly states dogs should not be having more than one litter a year. Plus, Bulldogs cannot give birth without a C-section, which means they need additional recovery time before they can get pregnant and endure a C-section again.
After finally applying for a breeding license in February 2021, it was denied them due to poorly-managed health issues, unfit accommodation for the dogs, a lack of understanding of the guidelines and poor isolation facilities for unvaccinated dogs.
Backyard Bulldog breeders pay the price
Over 6 years’ time, it is thought that the couple delivered 67 litters of puppies and made £372K off of them. Some of their pups they sold for a whopping £20,000.
In court, Judge David Wynn Morgan told the couple:
The couple were both fined £19,000 and ordered to pay back £372,531 - or face two years in prison.
See also: Another puppy gone, victim of an illegal puppy farm