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Ruff justice Man on the run after conviction for failing to care for 55 dogs at puppy farm

"These dogs were all living a miserable existence and Gillman has been convicted for his failure to take care of them"

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Luke Raymond Gillman

Luke Raymond Gillman

Luke Raymond Gillman

Police in the UK are looking for a man who is wanted after he was convicted of failing to look after more than 50 dogs at a puppy farm in Telford, Shropshire. 

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Luke Raymond Gillman (28) previously of Arleston Brook, Telford, who was convicted in his absence after failing to attend Telford Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Magistrates convicted Gillman of five separate charges under the Animal Welfare Act after the case went ahead without him.

Three of the charges relate to causing unnecessary suffering to separate dogs between October 23, 2018, and November 20, 2018, at Arleston Brook.

He was also convicted of a charge of “failing to ensure the needs of 55 dogs and puppies were met” by providing a “suitable environment.”

Another charge related to “failing to establish a full and effective biosecurity disease control programme including the identification and treatment of ill health.”

A warrant without bail has now been issued for his arrest.

Two co-accused, Jeff James McDonagh (38) was given a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, and Betty Chanelle Burton (35) was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for one year.

They were sentenced last month for fraud and animal welfare offences after the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) launched an investigation into the sale of puppies in the Greater Manchester area in 2017.

McDonagh was banned from keeping dogs for five years and Burton from keeping dogs for two years.

RSPCA officer Kirsty Withnall led the investigation which saw police execute multiple warrants, finding 55 dogs and puppies living in poor conditions.

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She said: “We believe the dogs were being transported from Wales and Ireland to be sold on to unsuspecting members of the public as family-bred pets, many tragically went on to die.

“We found dogs living in dark, cold, filthy conditions, in cramped makeshift pens and tethered outside with rickety old wooden kennels as their only shelter.

"These dogs were not loved and well cared for, in fact even their basic needs were not being met. Some were underweight and had untreated skin conditions and ear infections.”

The dogs were taken into RSPCA care and many were placed in foster homes.

They were signed over to the RSPCA in December 2019 and have since all been rehomed.

The RSPCA has appealed to the public to help track down Gillman so he can be sentenced.

Ms Withnall added: “These dogs were all living a miserable existence and Gillman has been convicted for his failure to take care of them. Now we want to find him so that he can face justice.

"If you have any information about where he may be, please contact the police on 101.”

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