A Rotherham couple have been disqualified from keeping dogs after admitting offences relating to the illegal docking of seven puppies’ tails.


Joanne Glasby (D.O.B 29.09.68) and Wayne Glasby (D.O.B 01.12.81) of Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (27 March).Puppy with docked tail


At an earlier hearing they pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006*.


RSPCA Inspector Leanne Booth said: “This case involved seven puppies whose tails had been illegally docked with lamb docking rings.

“We were contacted by someone who had seen three of the puppies in an online advert. They knew what the law says on tail docking and asked lots of questions, and much of the evidence they collected enabled us to bring this case so we are extremely grateful to them.

“When we attended the Glasby’s address we were shown four puppies. Two of them had partially docked tails, the bone was still there but had not quite fallen off. The other two puppies’ tails were still open wounds with the bones exposed.

“When I showed the picture of the three from the advert to Joanne Glasby she said she’d never seen those pups before even though she admitted the picture had clearly been taken in her house.

Docked tail“The defendants lied the whole way through this process, blaming each other, at one point saying a vet did the docking, then saying they didn’t even know the dogs had no tails.”


As well as the five year disqualification on keeping dogs, they were also sentenced to a 12 month community order including 150 hours of unpaid work each, and ordered to pay £600 costs and an £85 victim surcharge each.

Tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 unless for medical purposes.


It is a painful process, can impact on how dogs communicate and is often wholly unnecessary. The RSPCA does not believe any animals should be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and that removing part or all of the tail should only be done for medical reasons.

Proven working dogs of certain types (terrier and terrier to terrier crosses, spaniels and spaniel to spaniel crosses, hunt point retrievers and crosses of those types) can be exempted from this ban but only a vet can carry out the procedure, and must complete a certificate to say that they are satisfied with the evidence that they have seen which may be passed to the owner or kept on file by them. The procedure must also be done before the puppy is five days old.

RSPCA Inspector Booth said: “By their own admission, in a message to the person who called us, these poor puppies had had their tails docked by the Glasbys at five weeks old, way beyond what is allowed by law when conducted by a vet.


“If you are buying a puppy and they are one of the breed types that can be exempted – and they have a docked tail – ask to see the certificate completed by the vet surgeon. If this cannot be provided we recommend you don’t buy the puppy, and report it to us.


“If the dog is not one of these breed types, their tail has been docked illegally.”


*The full offences they pleaded guilty to are:

That on or about the 23 November 2018 at an address on Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft, Rotherham you did cause unnecessary suffering to protected animals, namely 7 terrier puppies, by doing an act namely the docking of their tails with the use of docking rings and that you knew or ought reasonably to have known that that act would have the effect of causing unnecessary suffering or be likely to do so. Contrary to section 4 subsection 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

That on or about the 23 November 2018 at an address on Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft, Rotherham, you did remove the whole or any part of 7 puppies tails, namely 7 terrier puppies, otherwise than for the purpose of their medical treatment. Contrary to section 6 subsection 1a of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.