May 3, 2018 9.45 am This story is over 40 months old

‘Illegal puppy farm’ used multiple aliases

It had no licence to operate.

A puppy farm near Boston operated without proper licences, under 11 different names and used several different phone numbers.

The Thornton Le Fen business owned by Cameron Dorbin Barnett was featured on BBC Watchdog’s Rogue Traders.

The investigation linked 22 private advertisements of 10 different breeds all back to Dorbin Barnett, who used different aliases to find buyers for his animals.

The operators of the puppy farm operated without a council breeding licence or pet shop licence.

Some of the animals suffered with bad medical conditions, including kennel cough and an infestation of a parasite, Giardia.

A pet shop licence is needed from the local council to sell dogs, unless people are selling puppies from their own pet dog or pedigree dogs they’ve bred.

What the council said

East Lindsey District Council told Rebecca Mosley, who bought one of the puppies, that they made contact with the owner prior to Watchdog being aired.

The council visited and inspected the farm and gave him “a schedule of works that must be satisfactorily undertaken before we will be able to be in the position of considering the grant of a dog breeding licence.”

However, the council confirmed that Dorbin Barnett has yet to provide an update to its licensing team.

Dorbin Barnett was also advised at the time it was an offence to sell and breed puppies without a licence.

Rogue Traders investigation

The team at Rogue Traders went to try and buy a puppy, with vet Simon Thomas attending with them, and they were told to drive to a certain postcode before being redirected.

The puppy appeared very quiet and subdued and her tummy began to get bigger as time went on. She was taken to be put on a drip and had a series of blood tests.

The puppy bought from Dorbin Barnett by the Rogue Traders team. Photo: BBC Watchdog

An infection was found and later test results confirmed she had heavy infestation with the parasite Giardia, but she made a full recovery and is enjoying life with a new owner.

According to the programme, Dorbin Barnett gives the impression the puppies are a one-off litter of a family pet, but this is not the case.

It is understood that he used to sell puppies in Norfolk before surrendering his licence there and coming to Lincolnshire to illegally sell the animals for profit.

Public suspicion

Rebecca Mosley, who was also featured in the show, responded to a private advertisement from ‘Sarah P’ who was selling a puppy, but she soon became suspicious.

She was concerned for the animal’s welfare due to a grade three heart murmur, and the address she was given was fake. She was told to meet Dorbin Barnett at a certain postcode before calling him to be redirected to a nearby farm.

She purchased the puppy for around £300, and a few days later Rebecca took the dog, who she renamed Milo, to the hospital.

It also emerged that the puppy hadn’t been microchipped, which is against the law.

Rebecca set up a page to gather evidence and raise awareness, while also creating a petition which now has over 3,000 signatures.

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