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Wednesday, January 20, 1999 Published at 15:28 GMT


Breeder guilty of cruelty to dogs

Newfoundland dogs can weigh 150 pounds (68 kg)

An international dog breeder has been found guilty of 16 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Phyllis Colgan, 51, was convicted after a court heard that 10 of her pedigree Newfoundlands died of heat exhaustion while being transported in a hired box wagon.

The lorry, loaded with 16 dead and dying pedigree dogs, had to be doused by the fire brigade to cool the animals down, Leicester magistrates had been told.

Ms Colgan, of Winster, Derbyshire, had pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of permitting unnecessary suffering to her dogs in May 1998.

Dogs overheated

She told the court that she was moving her 32 Newfoundland dogs to a new home in Derbyshire, and assumed that the hired wagon was suitable to transport them.

Kevin McCole, for the prosecution, said Ms Colgan had failed to notice the vehicle's translucent roof, which caused heat to build up and led to the dogs collapsing in temperatures of up to 100 degrees centigrade.

"You were hiring this vehicle for the purpose of transporting dogs - any competent owner would have checked it properly," Mr McCole said.

Heat stroke

Seven of the dogs were discovered dead and others dying when Ms Colgan and her son-in-law, Duncan Elliott, 34, of Bury St Edmunds, stopped to check on the animals, the court was told.

A vet, David Bentley, was called to Leicester Forest East motorway services on the M1. He told the court: "The ventilation in the box van was totally inadequate. I was horrified by what I saw."

Ms Colgan was given an absolute discharge by the magistrates and ordered to pay 2,000 towards court costs.

Her son-in-law, who was driving the van, was ordered to pay 160 costs and also given an absolute discharge.

He had faced 18 charges of conveying animals in a manner likely to cause suffering.

Both were given three months to pay.

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