Dogs seized from alleged illegal breeder near Geelong

Published on 6 April 2023

RSPCA Victoria’s Major Investigations Team executes warrant at a semi-rural property after a tip-off

UPDATE: The animals seized during the operation by RSPCA Victoria Inspectors, have now been surrendered by their previous owner into our care.

RSPCA’s Major Investigations Team has just concluded a second law enforcement operation in under a week after receiving a new confidential tip-off from the community. Inspectors attended a rural property near Geelong on Thursday and seized six dogs for animal welfare concerns under a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 warrant.

The warrant was executed as part of an investigation into an alleged illegal puppy breeding operation with serious animal welfare concerns. The animals were found in unsanitary, unsafe conditions and required medical attention upon arriving at RSPCA Victoria’s vet clinic. Charges have not yet been laid while investigations are ongoing.

RSPCA Victoria Inspectorate Team Leader – Major Investigations, Lisa Calleja, said this is the second operation in a week where the Inspectorate’s Major Investigations Team has seized animals under warrant.

“The welfare of these animals was very poor when we found them, and we are now caring for them while we investigate further,” said Inspector Calleja.

“We are absolutely committed to ending the practice of illegal animal breeding, rearing, and selling in Victoria. No matter how complex an investigation may be or the time or resources required, we will continue to pursue all individuals who engage in this behaviour.

“RSPCA Victoria’s ultimate objective is to end animal cruelty, and we continue to work toward that vision. We are the only non-government organisation in Victoria with the power to enforce the law, and we will continue to identify, pursue and prosecute people who breach animal welfare laws in Victoria and whose actions cause harm or suffering to animals.”

“The reports and tip-offs provided by members of the public to RSPCA Victoria are sources of vital information that are crucial in assisting our investigations into alleged animal welfare offences.

In Victoria, dogs and cats must be sold from a registered domestic animal business, a private residence, or a place where an animal sale permit is in place. It is an offence under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to sell animals in public places such as parks, roadsides, and car parks in Victoria. Offences under the DAA carry a penalty of 164 units for individuals, equating to $30,326.88. Offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 carry a penalty of 250 penalty units, equating to $46,230 or imprisonment for 12 months.

RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate received 6,846 reports involving dogs and puppies in the 2021/22 financial year, with a total of 15,059 dogs and puppies involved across these reports. The Greater Geelong City Council area was the most frequently reported local government area for reports involving dogs during this time.

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