Woman jailed for selling sick and dying puppies from her Milton Keynes home

The puppies were part of an international dog smuggling ring.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 12:24 pm

A Milton Keynes woman who sold who supplied sick and dying puppies to innocent members of the public has been jailed for 15 months.

Katie Salmon was part of an international dog smuggling ring based in MK.

Thirteen other people involved in the puppy farming operation, including several members of the Cawley family, were jailed in August. You can read the Citizen story here,

Some of the puppies from the dog smuggling ring. Photo: RSPCA

This week Aylesbury Crown Court heard 36-year-old Salmon had sold seriously ill dogs through the website Pets4Homes.

Judge Francis Sheridan was told the dogs had come from members of the Cawley family and their home in Ireland.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court how the RSPCA tracked down Salmon to her then address in Kirkwood Grove on Middleton after they linked her to numerous puppy sales online between July and November 2019.

One victim told the hearing how her Shih Tzu puppy named Barnaby that she brought from Salmon in October 2019 soon turned out to be desperately ill.

Another of the dogs smuggling from Ireland by the ring. Photo: RSPCA

She said: "After taking him to the vets for a check-up we realised that Barnaby was a lot younger than we had been informed and that he was extremely underweight and malnourished.

"Myself and my partner stayed up all night with Barnaby giving hourly food, fluids and medication.

"At 7.15am on October 24, 2019, we were awoken by the traumatic cries of our 11-year-old son who had been into our room and found Barnaby no longer breathing. Myself and my partner tried in vain to revive him while our children looked on, traumatised and heartbroken."

The devastated owner, who was visibly upset as she sat in the public gallery of the court, heard statements from her children about how it had affected them.

Her six-year-old wrote: "I feel really sad that Barnaby died, and I feel angry at his old owners because they didn’t feed him and look after him like we did.

"I really miss Barnaby and wish he was still at home with us, I just want Barnaby back."

Defending Salmon, Nicola Talbot-Hadley told the court that she had recently escaped from a long term abusive relationship and that she had been manipulated by Joseph and Margaret Cawley into selling the dogs.

However, sentencing her Judge Sheridan said: "I have not seen any evidence that she was exploited, they were all in this together. This was well organised and brilliantly executed.

"They were trading is misery."

The judge added: "The harm that this has caused is enormous and it is not limited to adults. There were children who were looking forward to welcoming a new member of their family.

"The British people would expect a sentence of immediate custody, to give the message that if you get involved in this filthy, horribly mean trade, you should expect a custodial sentence."

Salmon, who now lives in Bournmouth, admitted one count of conspiracy to commit fraud as well as a number of other charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and breaching her bail conditions.

She was jailed for 15 months and banned from keeping animals for the rest of her life.