Owners vanish from illegal Julimar puppy farm
By Michael Sinclair-Jones
AN ILLEGAL puppy farm with 35 dogs kept inside a residential dwelling has been discovered in Julimar.
Guns and crossbows were also found at the house by a Shire of Toodyay ranger responding to a public complaint.
The puppies were being fed by adult dogs and were in the care of four adults.
Shire of Toodyay Acting CEO Tabitha Bateman said the scale of the discovery suggested a commercial operation.Read more
The dogs were unregistered and the ranger reported that the animals were being kept in poor conditions.
Puppy farming is tightly controlled in WA after new State laws were adopted last year.
It followed complaints of unhygienic conditions and animal cruelty.
Breeders must be approved and comply with strict local government local laws and State legislation to protect puppies’ health and buyers’ rights.
Shire of Toodyay local laws allow no more than two dogs to be kept on a property unless councillors vote to approve additional animals up to a maxmimum of six.
No application was made to keep more than two dogs at the Julimar property.
The shire ranger reported the discovery of guns and crossbows to Toodyay police while the shire started searching for suitable alternative accommodation for the 35 dogs.
There was no room in the shire dog pound at the West Toodyay recycling depot for so many animals.
The matter was reported to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Perth in a bid to to help find alternative accommodation.
The shire ranger returned to the property with Toodyay police a few days later to find that all the animals and been removed and the adults gone, leaving the house empty.
The ranger attached a $250 shire infringement notice for an alleged breach of local health laws to the front door.
Investigations are continuing into other potential breaches of local and State laws.
It is thought that the puppy farm owners may have abandoned a similar operation in Joondalup before moving to Toodyay.
Shire authorities fear the puppies may have been shifted to another secret location – possibly also in the shire.