Puppy Factories in Court

The cruel and systematic slavery of dogs imprisoned for life on puppy farms will be before the Kyneton Magistrates Court on Monday, 11th April, 2011. Patty Mark, President of ALV will face charges of trespass and theft of three dogs after she helped remove dogs in very poor condition for urgent veterinary treatment. Patty tells their story.

The call was urgent. A concerned member of the public had been tracking down this puppy factory for quite some time.  She found a lead and a local confirmed it and they also told her the dogs weren’t in a good way. She found out the puppy farmers were away on holiday. So she went to the property, saw the dogs and then rang us in tears begging for help.

ALV’s Open Rescue team was on the road in less than two hours. The woman’s appeals were urgent as she said the conditions of the dogs were shocking. On arrival at the property, the first thing we said to each other before our investigation was, “No dogs off the property… we will take video footage and photographs and then report it to the authorities.”  We’d been in court before over puppy factories and the system only recognises animals as ‘property’, not sentient individuals.  We also knew from over thirty years experience it would be hard to get the authorities to act, but we never lose hope.

Blood-stains and filthy conditions of the shed floor

It was daylight when we arrived and before us was a well maintained large property with a huge double story new house, but up a small hill and away from the house, a large shed told a totally different story. The shed was cluttered and fitted out with wire cages on concrete, each holding a number of dogs. The floors of the cages were smeared with blood and feces. The dogs were either agitated and circling in their cage pens or cowering inside small kennels inside the pens. By now it was dusk and the shed was dim, but when our eyes adjusted, it was the pitiful conditions of the dogs that stopped us in our tracks.

Tillie was in such a pitiful condition, her fur matted severely.

The dogs were very neglected, some were so matted you could not tell which end was which or even where their paws were. We filmed and photographed what we found, but we now knew that it would be impossible and morally wrong not to get some of these dogs to a vet as soon as we could. They were simply in too bad a state to turn away and leave them there.  We removed three of the worst but still ache over some we had to leave behind.

We reported the dog factory to the local council and the RSPCA and the puppy farmers reported ‘the theft’ to the police. There would have been a clean-up and movement of dogs before a cursory inspection.  And over a year later it is animal activists who face court for trespass and theft and I doubt the authorities have been back again to check on the dogs.  Who knows what these puppy farmers are now up to or what the conditions of any animals under their care may be?  There is no such thing as ‘routine unannounced inspections’ even on properties that are registered with local councils.

The vet was shocked the next morning when we presented her with the dogs.  She spent over two and a half hours treating them as much as she could in a general consult without anaesthetic. She rated them 1 – 1.5 out of 5 for condition.

The vet shaving Tillie - she was visibly disgusted by their neglect

Besides being malnourished and underweight, their fur was so matted it had to be later shaved under anaesthetic. All three of the dogs also suffered dental disease, ear infections and embedded grass seeds.  The vet said in her report, “I was able to clip some of the matted hair on the dogs, revealing prominent rib cages due to the lack of subcutaneous fat covering their ribs. I was unable to clip much of the overgrown hair due to the extensive matting.” Download the Vet Report

Waldo receiving much-needed medical attention

Waldo emerges from his shave a much happier puppy

All three dogs were neutered (as advised by the vet),  she said it was especially appropriate for the female as “underweight bitches are not fit to carry litters due to the extra strain imposed on the body by the pregnancy.”

Sadly one of the little dogs was seized by the police and returned to his abusers, but the other two are now far away and happily settled in new loving homes where they are treated as family members not as slaves locked away for some quick cash.

Click here to see the full gallery of images >


  • Stephen - 6 April, 2011

    Truly disgusting, like something you’d expect in a third world country. Pity you can’t name and shame the scum guilty of this disgraceful abuse.

  • april - 6 April, 2011

    It’s a shame the dog breeders aren’t named. I wish there was a website listing the names of people who have abused animals.

  • Sylvie - 6 April, 2011

    The quicker we can make puppy farming illegal the better. The way these innocent creatures are treated is a disgust !!

  • Susan - 6 April, 2011

    What support is required to assist in avoiding trepress charges?

  • Sandra Livingston - 6 April, 2011

    I don’t understand how these people can be charged with theft for taking something that’s neglected any animal lover would these laws have to change and the R.S.P.C.A.should have more rights to remove these animals so many times i’ve seen them returned to neglectful owners and treated the same way it has to be stopped!!!!

  • Lorraine - 6 April, 2011

    Congratulations to all activists who rescued these little ones. What makes people like puppy-farmers? Greed? Because they can? I’m just glad not to be that type!

  • Sandra Livingston - 6 April, 2011

    And i also agree with April name and shame them let everyone know who they are!!!

  • Melissa - 6 April, 2011

    Animal welfare laws in Australia are pathetic and an absolute insult to every precious animal living a confined life of misery and suffering. Each and every compassionate individual has a responsibility to get this issue into the public eye and keep it there…If we don’t, who will? While the existing laws remain, everybody’s hand are tied and until there is enough of a public outcry, nothing will change.

  • Anne Putt - 6 April, 2011

    Hello Patty, I wish you all the very best at court on the 11th April. I hope with all my heart that you are not prosecuted in anyway and that the courts will see you for what you are, a lover of helpless animals who is willing to put herself ahead of the law to try to protect them. Hopefully the court will decide it is the puppy farmers who should be in their court on charges of neglect and abuse.
    Wishing you all the very best.
    Anne Putt

  • MARY G - 6 April, 2011

    Typical rspca – toothless tiger. Why aren’t they prosecuting the lowlife who keep animals in such appalling conditions when they are faced with overwhelming evidence. Then to prosecute the rescuers – it defies logic and compassion.

  • Joan Christie - 6 April, 2011

    The state of these puppy mill dogs were appalling.
    The mill must be closed down.
    Our new Premier in Victoria,The Hon.Balliew promised during the election to shut down puppy mills in Victoria.
    Please make him aware of this and keep his promise.

  • Bunty Jackson - 6 April, 2011

    Once again the law is on the side of the wrong person. The puppy farmers are the ones who should be in jail for acts of cruelty like this. Might make them see sense that if if they have eyes that can see something other than dollar signs.

  • Jane Duckworth - 6 April, 2011

    The bravery and compassion of the ALV Open Rescue team is astonishing. Congratulations on going out there and doing something that many of the rest of us would like to do but don’t. This court case will give puppy farms the media attention that they wish to avoid. Well done and good luck!

  • Donna Frizzell - 6 April, 2011

    You guys are the best, if those inhuman A-holes believe what they are doing is Ok which it clearly is NOT then why can’t the namje of that facility be published. I had words at Perth airport regarding puppies destined for a pet shop, security was called and I was informed that they were paying customers regardless and I was not verbally insult them – is that right!! Of curse I did!!

  • Michelle Garretty - 7 April, 2011

    These disgusting ‘human beings’ need to be named and shamed,,,,the pet shop industry should be forced to disclose where the puppies are coming from and if they have any conscience at all they would stop buying from these sociopaths.

  • Pam Bolton - 7 April, 2011

    Why must this be happening over and over people need licences to own a pet

  • Kymberly - 7 April, 2011

    Hi Patty.Well done and good luck with court on the 11th I will be thinking of you xx

  • Monica - 7 April, 2011

    Patty good luck with court on the 11th.If there were more people like you,and less of the scum that can treat animals as if they don’t matter.

  • Maryland Wilson - 7 April, 2011

    Good luck Patty and thanks for saving these dogs which rely totally on humans to be kind. But sadly too many humans fail their role so it is up to people like Patty to step in to defend the defencess. We hope for a GOOD outcome ;sending love and support xxx

  • wendy shaw - 7 April, 2011

    Sending you all my love Patty for 11th.
    This is outrageous,these babies arn’t things to buy and sell.But sentient beings placed in our care.Please let me know if there is anything I can do xo

  • Janet - 8 April, 2011

    When are the authorities going to ban these fools so no more animals have to suffer? Hound your local MP’s until they do something about it.

  • Margaret - 8 April, 2011

    One more example of human abuse of nonhuman animals. Patty Mark is a brave and determined activist. I urge everyone who views this page to give her financial support.

  • Gerry Ross - 8 April, 2011

    Please organise a petition so it can be sent to the Victorian Premier asap. No dogs or cats should be sold in pet shops either. By the way, how come Councils only let you have 2 dogs and be registered yet puppy farmers have 100′s and you can bet THEY AREN’T REGISTERED…..

  • Karen - 9 April, 2011

    Why do some people believe it is ok to treat animals this way. How can you puppy farmers not look into the eyes of these poor animals and not feel some compassion for them. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Tayah Landmann - 10 April, 2011

    Great work on rescuing poor Tille. I send my thoughts for you in the court case.

  • Genevieve Farrugia - 10 April, 2011

    I’m surprised that such a “civilised” country can still allow things such as puppy farms and chicken farming to continue. PEople need to take a good look at their actions, and make a change for the good. Five months without meat, AND COUNTING!

  • george fenwick - 4 May, 2011

    I find it repugnant that people of this ilk should be allowed to turn a living feeling being, into a product.If we can’t treat animals with respect–what hope for mankind

  • Tieea Jaya - 1 June, 2011

    Patty and the team. You are amazing people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Sue Cambridge - 7 June, 2011

    The first step in ending this disgusting abuse is to STOP puppies and kittens being sold in pet shops!

  • V - 12 June, 2011

    The rspca don’t really care, they serve animal at their events, they have shares and stocks with slaughterhouses and vivisection companies. they are pure fakes.

  • marilyn stewart - 13 June, 2011

    I really was to believe that we are living in the 21st century?? with so much animal abuse going on in this state alone what is our lovely knew victoria premier doing about banning pets in pet shops and puppy farms why do these government people lie so much, the stupid uncaring people that buy pets from pet shops are just as much to blame

  • Sandra Bingham - 27 June, 2011

    I sit here and look at my 2 beautiful dogs and wonder WHY?????????????????????????

  • sonja - 14 July, 2011

    its not just pet shops, my neighbour has sheperds that are bred twice a year,just had another litter, disgusting…

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