A serial puppy farmer in Perth has been banned from owning dogs for life after she was sentenced for breeding and selling sick canines.
It is believed Kathryn Lisa King was earning as much as $180,000 annually by offloading puppies bred into stomach-churning conditions
The Bullsbrook woman, 51, was also hit with a 10-month prison term suspended for 18 months, $25,000 in fines and an 18-month intensive supervision order when she was sentenced on 17 animal cruelty charges in the Perth Magistrates Court this week.
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She was also ordered to pay legal costs of $24,300 and care and treatment costs of $18,200.
The charges relate to dozens of “highly desirable breeds” of dogs seized from her home in June 2020.
Magistrate Janie Gibbs said King had shown “callous disregard or at least wilful blindness”.
Authorities were tipped off by a member of the public who responded to a Gumtree advertisement but became suspicious when they could not visit the dog at its home.
An RSPCA investigation led to the seizure of 32 dogs, with the “majority” living in small steel cages and plastic carrier crates.
Four puppies were found squashed together in a small cardboard box with no food or water, the animal welfare group said, and some dogs were in cages designed for rabbits and guinea pigs.
Vet checks uncovered several issues and not all of the animals survived. The rest are in foster care, pending the result of the case.
“‘This is a case of greed, pure and simple,” RSPCA WA’s executive manager of animal and enforcement operations Hannah Dreaver said.
“This woman was breeding large numbers of dogs with absolutely no concern for their welfare, health or safety.
“All were popular breeds selling for thousands of dollars. These dogs were making her a fortune and she was treating them as nothing more than money-making machines, having litter after litter without proper care.”
King was previously sentenced in 2000, 2004 and 2014 for charges including cruelty to animals, fraud and forgery, hindering an inspector, and breaching an animal ban.
In the 2014 conviction, she was found to be keeping a dozen dogs in a bunker metres underground.
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