Puppies at Sheffield dog kennel business were illegally imported and mutilated

The owners of a Sheffield-based dog kennel business have been prosecuted for illegally importing and mutilating puppies.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 5:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 5:14 pm

Carmen Pintea, 37, and Claudiu Belceanu, 43, who run Barbarian Corso Kennels, were caught following an investigation by Sheffield City Council’s environmental protection service.

The pair imported three Cane Corso puppies from Romania which had all had their ears surgically shortened and their tails removed.

This process is prohibited in the UK, and Romania, but is allowed in Romania’s neighbouring country, Serbia.

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The puppies had their ears surgically shortened and their tails removed.

The owners initially claimed the dogs had been operated on in Serbia prior to being imported because they had been in an accident, but Belceanu later admitted he had arranged the operations to alter the dogs’ appearance.

Animals imported from Serbia, where there is a more serious rabies risk, must be vaccinated, have a subsequent blood test, and be monitored for three months before being allowed to travel to the UK.

The puppies were not old enough for this to have happened, however, so one puppy in Sheffield and another tracked down in Surrey were seized and placed in quarantine.

The third puppy could not be traced.

Pintea and Belceanu had also failed to meet strict import for trade rules requiring a health certificate and notification to the Secretary of State when the dogs arrive.

The owners falsely claimed the puppies were pets of the transporter, despite having imported animals for trade purposes before.

On 27 January, Claudiu Belceanu pleaded guilty to arranging the cropping and docking of the puppies, and illegally importing the dogs, and was sentenced to 100 hours community service. He was disqualified from transporting animals and from arranging for the transport of animals for 12 months. He was ordered to pay £800 towards the Council’s costs and a victim surcharge of £90.

At the same hearing, Carmen Pintea pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Secretary of State of the import, and was fined £120, and was also ordered to pay £800 towards the Council’s costs with a surcharge of £32.

Councillor Mark Jones, cabinet member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, said the puppies had been subjected to a “dreadful, unnecessary operation”.

He added: “I would urge anyone considering getting a dog to make sure they use reputable kennels and do their research before going ahead”.