Rogue puppy trader made £50,000 by lying to customers

Rogue puppy trader made £50,000 by lying to customers claiming she was selling them fashionable breeds

  • Lisa Canning tampered with medical records as she made £50k selling puppies
  • The 50-year-old from south Wales sold dogs online on behalf of puppy farms
  • Judge said Canning ‘played on people’s emotions’ as he ordered her to pay costs

Lisa Canning outside Cardiff Crown Court, where she admitted unfair commercial practice and four counts of fraud

A cruel puppy trader made £50,000 by lying about the breeds of dogs and tampering with their medical records before selling them to unsuspecting victims online.

Lisa Canning flogged puppies to customers who wanted fashionable breeds – but DNA tests showed they were completely different types of dog.

Canning was not licensed to sell dogs at her farmhouse in Barry, south Wales, but made thousands flogging more than 100 puppies.

As he ordered her to pay more than £40,000 in court costs and £3,000 compensation, a judge said the greedy 50-year-old ‘played on people’s emotions’. 

One vaccination card found at her home had been ‘tampered with’ to change the name of a cocker-Labrador cross to a ‘golden Labrador’. 

The judge said Canning ‘knew buyers wouldn’t return the dogs,’ adding: ‘Almost everyone is vulnerable to the charms of a puppy.’  

Rescued Isla (pictured with a volunteer) is one of the dogs cared for by Hope Rescue following Canning’s offending

The 50-year-old advertised this golden Labrador puppy – but the medical records had been tampered with 

Prosecutor Lee Reynolds said: ‘She traded unlawfully for a significant period of time.

‘The business knowingly and deliberately breached its dog breeding licence requirements.’

Canning sold around 100 dogs online using sites including Pets4Homes, Gumtree and Preloved, the court heard.

Canning sold around 100 dogs for approximately £500, netting around £50k

She sold the puppies for approximately £500 each from her home and made around £50,000.

Mr Reynolds said Canning told potential buyers she bred all the dogs herself, but she actually sold on behalf of puppy farms.

He added: ‘She simply did not know the history of many of the puppies she was selling.’

Victim Beth Williams worked as a carer and was only allowed to buy certain breeds of dogs, including Labradors, the court heard.

Mrs Williams saw an advert for three-month-old golden Labrador puppy that Canning was selling on Preloved.

She paid £450 for the dog but quickly noticed its ears were longer than she was expecting and its neck was thinner and took it to the vet for a DNA – which revealed it was 50 per cent cocker spaniel.

Buyer Tracy Oatridge also bought a puppy from Canning, believing it to be a cockapoo.

But tests revealed it was part miniature poodle, part toy poodle and part bichon frise.

Left, Bailey, one of the dogs cared for by Hope Rescue and right, one of the cockapoos advertised by Canning

Canning was ordered to pay compensation of £3,095 and £46,595 in costs

The divorced mother-of-two from Aberthaw, near Barry in South Wales, admitted unfair commercial practice and four counts of fraud at Cardiff Crown Court.

Nigel Fryer, defending, said: ‘She allowed the situation to get out of control and stuck her head firmly in the sand. The whole process has put a huge emotional strain on her and her family.’

Judge Thomas Crowther QC said: ‘You ran that business in a way that was calculated to defraud the public.’ 

Canning was handed a seven month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

She was ordered to pay compensation of £3,095 and £46,595 in costs.

Judge Crowther warned potential dog buyers to be careful when purchasing animals online.

He said: ‘People looking for pets should treat online classified adverts with the greatest circumspection possible.’

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