A puppy dealer has been banned from keeping dogs after pleading guilty to animal neglect.
Stacey McPhee, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, sold puppies that were sick with life-threatening diseases to people throughout the country.
The 23-year-old failed to provide veterinary care for three puppies in her care.
Her crimes came to light following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA who gathered evidence from multiple people who had been sold animals by McPhee.
The dealer appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday and was sentenced to a three-year ban on keeping dogs and six months of supervision.
A special investigation unit had been gathering intelligence on the case since December 2019 when numerous adverts on an online selling site were linked to McPhee.
On veterinary examination, the puppies were found not to have been vaccinated which led to them contracting potentially life-threatening diseases.
The three pups were a male cockapoo called Brodie and male and female cavalier King Charles’, called Alfredo and Roxy.
All three were found to have giardia, which can be lethal if left untreated.
All of the pups showed symptoms of the disease such as diarrhoea with blood and Alfredo and Brodie had heart murmurs.
Roxy had aspiration pneumonia which was caused by giardia.
An undercover inspector from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit said: “We found evidence McPhee has sold many sick or dying puppies to unsuspecting members of the public.
“She was selling these pups from her address and all of the people who bought from her spotted there was something wrong right away and immediately sought veterinary treatment.
“We welcome the sentence and the three-year ban is an ideal disruption tactic for someone such as McPhee who was a prolific offender and caused immeasurable heartbreak to people who bought sick and dying animals from her.
“We would urge members of the public not to buy from individuals like McPhee as no thought is given to the welfare of the animal; only how much money can be made.
“We will continue to do all we can to stop the low-welfare puppy trade, including through leading Operation Delphin, a multi-agency taskforce set up to disrupt the industry.”
Operation Delphin is supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council, ISPCA, RSPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, Stena Line, Police Scotland and others.
Anyone with concerns about an animal can contact the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline in confidence on 03000 999 999.