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Illegal dog breeder pays heavy price for misleading customers



AN ILLEGAL dog breeder has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay over £200,000 after selling sick puppies with false pedigree and veterinary papers.

Dylan Huw Thomas, of New Inn, Llandeilo, was caught running a fraudulent dog breeding business by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, who carried out a lengthy investigation over a number of years to bring him to justice.

Thomas, 59, deliberately mis-led his customers, selling puppies across the country – some of which were severely ill and required immediate veterinary treatment, and including one chocolate Labrador who had to be put down.

He claimed to be a registered breeder when he was not, adulterated lineage documents and veterinary cards to cover his tracks, and often hid behind a false identity.

Several concerned customer of Thomas contacted the local authority after becoming concerned at the welfare of puppies they had bought from him, or about the paperwork that came with them.

Customers say he would appear ‘nervous’ or ‘shifty’ and evaded their questions.

Adverts would often state that puppies were raised at home amongst family and children, when in fact it has been difficult to trace exactly where the puppies have come from.

He would travel to his customers with the puppies saying he happened to be in their area, and if asked where the puppy’s mother was would say she was ‘under the weather’.

Following the Trading Standards investigation, and in the face of overwhelming evidence, Thomas pleaded guilty to 14 separate offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

He was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday (December 20, 2018) where His Honour Judge Geraint Walters handed him a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay £215,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Passing the sentence, he told Thomas: “You went into this business with your eyes open when farming was difficult. Easy money – you were deceiving people you were dealing with.”

Cllr Philip Hughes, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, praised the Trading Standards team for their thorough investigation which helped bring Thomas to justice, and said he hoped this case would act as a deterrent to other illegal breeders.

“Dylan Huw Thomas deliberately mis-led his customers and made a lot of money through selling puppies without proper welfare checks and documentation,” he said.

“This is a serious crime with serious consequences, and we’re glad we were able to bring him to court and see this sentence handed down.”

He added: “This should be a lesson to anyone who breeds dogs – breeding and selling without proper licensing, documentation and regard for the welfare and wellbeing of puppies and their mothers will not be tolerated.”

The council has urged people to ensure they carry out proper checks before purchasing a puppy advertised for sale to avoid funding the illegal dog breeding trade.

They advise that people should see mum and puppy together at the place of breeding, documents should be thoroughly checked, and enquiries should also be made with veterinary practices and local authorities.


New all-inclusive cycling facility at Pembrey Country Park opens



CYCLING for all ages and abilities is now available at Pembrey Country Park.

Some 38 new cycles including wheelchair transporters, wheelchair cycles, adult tricycles, hand cycles, two-seater side by side and four-seater cycles have arrived at the park’s ski and activity centre.

The purchases and new timber clad storage facilities were funded by the Welsh Government through its Integrated Care Fund (ICF) and a Play Sufficiency Grant funded children’s cycles. The project was delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council’s leisure team and learning disability services.

In addition to the cycles, a new fully equipped ‘Changing Places’ disabled changing and shower room which includes a full ceiling track hoist system and electrically operated shower/changing bed has been installed.

The council’s executive board member for leisure services, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “This has been made possible thanks to partnership working between Welsh Government, the council’s learning disability and leisure services. It’s yet another step forward in our plan to provide access to cycling for all abilities and as part of our wider vision to become the Cycling Hub of Wales.”

Already Pembrey Ski and Activity Centre is recognised for its ski for all facilities and regularly holds high profile events for all abilities.

The council’s disability ambassador, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “We are delighted that we are able to offer a fully inclusive cycling facility at Pembrey Country Park. Already it has been a tremendous success in increasing the number of individuals accessing cycling as well as attracting out of county groups.”

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Road closed in both directions following collision between car and tractor



THERE was a collision between a car and a tractor with a trailer at just past 12am today (Friday, June 21).

The road was closed in both directions from St Clears to Carmarthen while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Two men – the driver and passenger of the car – have been taken to hospital. One is in a critical but stable condition.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, who hasn’t already spoken to the police, is asked to contact the serious collision investigation unit at Dyfed-Powys Police on 101.

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Parc Howard shortlisted for national award



PARC HOWARD has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award.

Charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

A panel of museum experts whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist of 15.

The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner, our Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019.

The council’s executive board member for cultural services, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “It really is exciting times for Parc Howard Museum. To have been nominated for such a prestigious award is just superb and is testament to the family friendly environment we have been working to create within the museum.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see Parc Howard Museum on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families. We were inspired by how this ambitious museum works with community organisations to bring the museum to families on a low income. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”

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