Rebecca Cox leaves Ipswich Courthouse.
Rebecca Cox leaves Ipswich Courthouse.

Dog breeder failed to care for 80 German Shepherds

A DOG lover and breeder was overwhelmed in her ability to provide the proper care as she had too many dogs.

RSPCA inspectors found Rebecca Cox had more than 80 German Shepherd dogs in her care at a rural Mount Tarampa property.

But Cox had since worked hard with the RSPCA to solve the problems and able to continue her business but with a lot less dogs, a court has heard.

Appearing before Ipswich Magistrates Court, Rebecca Dawn Cox, 38, pleaded guilty to three offences that she failed to provide appropriate living conditions between January 16, 2019 and March 27, 2019; failed to provide appropriate treatment; and failed to comply with an animal welfare direction.

The court was told that Cox lived at the property with two other German Shepherd breeders who operated at the same facility.

One of the animal breeder’s Amanda Preston was convicted of animal welfare offences when she pleaded at Gatton Magistrates Court in October last year.

Cox was the owner and person in charge of 84 German Shepherd dogs and puppies, four poodle dogs, 10 horses and one cat who was in good condition.

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In January the RSPCA received complaints about the animals, alleging many dogs were confined to small crates inside a shed, or enclosed in runs and living in their own faeces.

The property had approval for 100 dogs.

An inspection found dogs contained in kennel blocks, as well as pens and crates inside a shed where Cox slept.

A litter of puppies were in good body condition but confined to an enclosure with no access to appropriate water, bedding or enrichment.

Others were found in adequate conditions.

The poodle Teddy was in good condition but confined to a crate in her room with no access to appropriate water, bedding and enrichment and could not display normal patterns of behaviour.

Some of the seven miniature horses in a large paddock overgrown hooves and one had cracked and splayed hooves.

Cox told the inspectors that her poodles are crated because they escape under the fence.

She said her bitches usually have four litters with two litters in a row and then they

have a 12 to 18 month break.

After the break, they have another two litters in a row and then retire.

An Animal Welfare Direction was issued in February last year that required Cox to provide the dogs with clean and hygienic living conditions at all times; provide space to allow the dogs to display normal patterns of behaviour; provide access to fresh, clean water at all times; and provide clean bedding, toys and/or other forms of enrichment.

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The RSPCA prosecutor said Cox had been very co-operative and helpful and later assisted Preston in compliance.

“Simply she had too many dogs,” the prosecutor Ms Smith said.

“No dogs had to be taken away.”

Defence barrister Justin Thomas said Cox first came into contact with well-trained German Shepherds when working as a security guard.

Because of their temperament she decided to begin breeding them and is now a registered breeder of 12 years.

“She now has only 40 dogs. She provides a very important service to the community and she helps out with rescue dogs,” Mr Thomas said.

“She is a person with genuine interest in animal welfare.

“It was not a case of deliberate disregard. She simply overloaded herself with work.”

Magistrate Andy Cridland noted her high degree of co-operation with the RSPCA and fined Cox $1500. Half the fine will go to the RSPCA.

No conviction was recorded.

Read more stories by Ross Irby here.

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