A WOMAN who illegally imported sick border collie puppies from a puppy farm in Southern Ireland and passed them off as home bred has been jailed.

An investigation by Thames Valley Police and the RSPCA lasting 14 months, found Helen Kay Moorey of Idstone Road, Ashbury, near Swindon was selling puppies which she claimed were bred from her own two adult border collies.

Moorey, 55, was found guilty, following a two-day trial, at Reading Magistrates' Court last week of five counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to an eight week prison sentence.

The court heard how Moorey sold the puppies on claiming - they were vet checked, de-flead and wormed.

Members of the public who bought the puppies were left with animals who were often extremely ill, not vet checked and required urgent medical care.

Senior investigating officer, Sergeant Alan Hawkett, of Hungerford Downlands neighbourhood team, based at Newbury police station, said: “Moorey who also sold animals through the name of Helen Costello, preyed on honest, animal loving members of the public for her own financial gain.

“She had no regard for the safety and wellbeing of the animals in her care or the impact emotionally and financially on those that purchased the puppies.

“We have released footage of the warrant we executed on Moorey’s property.

“During the warrant DNA evidence was obtained from the adult dogs being kept at the property by Moorey.

“This was then compared with the puppies bought by members of the public and it was found they were not bred from the adult dogs owned by Moorey.

“This evidence led to Moorey’s conviction”.

Following the trial Sergeant Hawkett said: “We would advise anyone who wishes to purchase a dog, to research the seller and only purchase from an established breeder.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: "Unfortunately this sort of fraud isn't uncommon and with puppies selling for anywhere between £300 and £1,000 each these unscrupulous breeders and sellers can make a fortune. That sadly means that they are putting profits before the health and welfare of puppies.

"The RSPCA receives thousands of calls every year from people whose dog has fallen ill, or even tragically died, within a few days of being sold having contracted serious infections and diseases due to poor living conditions and inadequate care.

"We are extremely concerned about this issue and would urge anyone who has concerns about something they've seen to walk away and report it to us by calling 0300 1234 999.

"We'd encourage anyone looking to get a dog to consider rescuing or to use our Puppy Contract to help ensure they buy a happy, healthy puppy."

Advice on how to purchase a puppy safely can also be found here: