Sheffield dog breeder loses her licence after importing 'cropped and docked' puppies from Romania

The owner of a dog breeding business connected to the illegal import and mutilating of puppies has lost her licence following a review.

The dog breeder imported puppies from Romania (file picture)

Carmen Pintea, owner of Barbarian Corso Kennels, had her licence to breed dogs revoked by Sheffield Council’s sub-licensing committee this week.

Ms Pintea, who sat in front of shelves of dog show trophies during the virtual meeting, said allegations relating to her business destroyed her life, cost her her job and led to death threats.

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She said she already made changes to the business and if allowed to keep her licence, it would never happen again. The business specialises in Cane Corso dogs, an Italian mastiff breed.

But the committee decided to deny her this chance.

Coun Joe Otten, member of the committee, said: “I am concerned about the effects on animal welfare of importing puppies in breach of the rules. If you buy a puppy from a licensed breeder, you are entitled to expect the puppy has been raised in the UK on licensed premises to a good welfare standard.”

An investigation was carried out by the council’s environmental protection service following a complaint about a puppy advertisement by Barbarian Corso Kennels.

The council said investigations revealed the puppy was imported with two others from Romania. All puppies were cropped and docked, meaning their ears were surgically shortened and their tails removed. This process is prohibited in the UK and Romania but allowed in Serbia.

The owners initially claimed the dogs were operated on in Serbia prior to being imported because they had been in an accident, but Claudiu Belceanu, Ms Pintea’s partner, later admitted he arranged the operations to alter the dogs’ appearance.

At a court hearing in January, Mr Belceanu pleaded guilty to arranging the cropping and docking of the puppies, and illegally importing the dogs, and was sentenced to 100 hours community service. He was disqualified from transporting animals and from arranging for the transport of animals for 12 months. He was ordered to pay £800 towards the council’s costs and a victim surcharge of £90.

At the same hearing, Ms Pintea pleaded guilty to failing to notify the secretary of state of the import, and was fined £120, and was also ordered to pay £800 towards the council’s costs with a surcharge of £32.

Ms Pintea said: “At no point would I ever put my dogs at risk and that is why the puppies, although I didn’t know they were going to arrive, I did put them separate to my dogs to see if they showed any issues.

“I had death threats, I had all sorts of threats because of what has gone on. I lost my job because of this, because of the actions my partner did that had nothing to do with me.

“It has affected every single aspect of my life and it is just not fair. I’ve said it before and I will say it a thousand times because it is the pure truth: the dogs are my world.”

If Ms Pintea appeals the decision, she will be allowed to continue the business until the appeal hearing.