Convicted puppy farmer charged with breaching court order

A 48-year-old woman from Lewiston has been charged with failure to comply with a court order restricting the number of animals she is allowed to have in her care or custody.

Kerrie Fitzpatrick was convicted in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 1 August on five counts of failure to comply with Animal Welfare Notices, one count of failing to meet the standards within the SA Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals and ten counts of animal ill-treatment.

The charges under SA’s Animal Welfare Act were in relation to a dog breeding facility at Parrakie, in the Murray Mallee region. Ms Fitzpatrick and her former partner, Colin Ross, were running a commercial dog breeding operation, with more than 300 dogs located at the premises.

Following a seven-day trial, Ms Fitzpatrick was sentenced to a three-month term of imprisonment, suspended on condition of a $500 Good Behaviour bond for a period of three years. As part of his sentencing decision, Magistrate Karim Soetratma prohibited Ms Fitzpatrick from having care or custody of any animals other than two pet dogs, four rabbits and seven budgerigars that were in her care at the time.

His Honour warned Ms Fitzpatrick not to have any further involvement in the breeding of dogs and her bond included a specific condition of “I must not sell any animal”. During sentencing submissions, Ms Fitzpatrick stated through her legal counsel that she no longer had any dogs apart for her two pet dogs, named Red and Larry.

On 17 October, RSPCA SA inspectors seized 86 dogs and puppies from Ms Fitzpatrick’s Lewiston property. Ms Fitzpatrick is due to face the Elizabeth Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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