Breeder who kept eight dogs in 'appalling conditions' jailed for animal cruelty

Justin Dyer
Justin Dyer, 43, was arrested after police found the animals living in 'abject squalor' at a property in Suffolk. (Suffolk Police)

A breeder who kept eight dogs in “appalling conditions” has been jailed for animal cruelty.

Justin Dyer, 43, was arrested after police found the animals living in "abject squalor" at a property in Sudbury, Suffolk, on 10 February.

In total, eight dogs were seized, including an American bulldog cross-breed puppy and Shar Pei puppy.

Dyer, of Sudbury, was sentenced to 26 weeks in jail at Ipswich Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

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The dogs were found living in abject squalor. (Suffolk Police)
The dogs were found living in abject squalor. (Suffolk Police)

Dyer was convicted in his absence on 26 October after failing to appear before court for seven animal welfare act offences relating to neglect and cruelty and one offence of breeding and selling dogs without a licence.

Having been arrested on a warrant in London on Friday, he was presented to Ipswich Magistrates' Court for sentencing the next day.

The investigation was led by Sgt Brian Calver from Suffolk Police’s Rural and Wildlife team, supported by local officers, vets, the RSPCA, and an environmental health officer from Babergh District Council.

Sgt Brian Calver said: ”This was a particularly unpleasant case, where a number of dogs were kept in the most appalling conditions, purely for selfish financial gain, with no consideration for their welfare.

“Dyer has shown no remorse and I hope he reflects upon the harm he’s caused whilst he serves his term of imprisonment.

“I sincerely hope this sends a strong message to others that think it’s acceptable to profit from dogs with no consideration for their welfare, or those that fail to look after their pets properly.”

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Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi, cabinet member for environment at Babergh District Council, added: “This conviction is clearly a great result.

“It shows the vital importance of ensuring that businesses are licenced and maintain satisfactory standards, and it also sends a clear message that breaches will not be tolerated.

“We will not hesitate to act – working with other agencies as appropriate – when animals involved in any business are at risk."

Dyer was given a 15-year ban on owning, keeping, or having anything to do with looking after animals and he was also ordered to pay around £6,200 in costs and compensation.

He also received an additional six-month jail sentence after breaching a suspended sentence for possession of a machete following an offence in 2021.

This will run consecutively to the 26-week sentence and it equates to a year in custody.