Police seize dogs from house of man with court-imposed ban

Police and Animal Welfare officers have seized dogs held by breeder Anthony Vella after he was served a suspended sentence over a case of animal cruelty • The court banned Vella from owning dogs for 25 years

Police and Animal Welfare officers have swooped in on the Birżebbuġa residence of a dog breeder to take away his dogs after a court ordered the action.

Dog breeder Anthony Vella was served a suspended sentence on Tuesday after his dogs were found living in squalor in his residence. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for four years, ordered to pay a €20,000 fine and banned from owning and breeding dogs for 25 years.

The court order to remove the dogs was executed on Friday by police officers from the Environmental Protection Unit and the Animal Welfare Directorate. His dogs will now be placed under the custody of the Animal Welfare Directorate.

During the operation a number of dogs were seized, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pharaoh Hounds and Chow Chows.

The 65-year-old was charged with having made his dogs suffer unnecessary pain and for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure their needs were met.

Puppies seized by the Animal Welfare Directorate
Puppies seized by the Animal Welfare Directorate

The court raised concern over how the dogs were given good care and treatment while competing in competitions, but once past their prime were doomed to a life in cages without adequate attention.

It remarked that the accused should never have allowed the situation to degrade in the way it did, and should have never kept such a large number of dogs inside a house that was not equipped to host them.