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Animal cruelty case pair giving up kennels
A WEST DORSET couple who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog are to give up their kennel business after 23 years of looking after strays.
Alan and Mary Bull say they made the decision to sell Woodland Farm Kennels on the A35 near Bridport before the court case which saw them each given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £375 costs.
Both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier-type dog, by failing to act in not checking the animal for signs of illness or injuries.
Mrs Bull said she did not want to comment on the case.
She said: “It was an unfortunate incident and as far as we are concerned it is over with.
“I want to draw a line under that – it is over and done with.”
But she said they were both beyond retirement age – Mr Bull is 67 and she is 63 – and with only four long weekends away in 23 years, and family in Japan and Germany, it was time to go. She said: “We had already decided last year to retire at the beginning of this year. After 23 years in some ways it will be a relief – it has been a tie.
“We do need to be able to take some time for ourselves.
“I lost a very dear dog last year that in part has coloured my view and the time has come when we’re wanting to do other things.”
They have already closed the boarding kennels and given West Dorset District Council notice they will not be able to take strays.
They have six staffy crosses, one lurcher and a collie currently to find homes for.
Mrs Bull hopes to be able to sell the property on the A35 near Bridport as a kennels and persuade new owners to take on the strays.
But it has been getting harder and harder to re-home them as numbers increase and the recession bites deeper, she said.
Mrs Bull added: “I can only hope that the council is able to find someone willing to take on not just boarding the dogs for the council for seven days but would also be prepared to take on the re-homing side.
“A few years ago it was around 60 a year – last year it was heading towards 80 which for this small place was an awful lot of dogs.”
West Dorset District Council community protection manager Graham Duggan said: “The council is currently tendering for an alternative kennel service to take in stray dogs found within the district.
“Invitations for expressions of interest have been sent to all boarding kennels within the district and nearby surrounding areas.”