A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a dog-breeding pastor who – along with his wife – is facing six charges of selling sickly young dogs to unsuspecting customers.
Thomas Baird, 56, and his 52-year-old wife Elizabeth are accused of carrying out some of the transactions at a bus station and a supermarket car park.
They were due to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court last week but, instead, Elizabeth Baird sent in a letter asking that the case against her be continued without plea, while her husband did not appear or communicate at all with the court.
It is alleged that the couple breached the Pet Animals Act or alternatively the Breeding and Sales of Dogs Act at their home, Pen Y Mae, Kilgrammie, near Dailly, Ayrshire, between April 7 and September 12 last year by selling puppies without a licence.
They are charged with illegally advertising Bichon Frise, Jack Russell, Malteschion, Bichon Shih Tzu and Poodle/Shih Tzu puppies for sale and selling them at Ayr Bus Station, Sainsbury’s car park in Strathaven, an address in East Kilbride and at their own cottage.
It is specifically alleged that on April 17, at the bus station, the couple sold a Jack Russell puppy and that on August 29 in the Sainsbury’s car park they sold a Bichon Frise type puppy.
The Bairds face further charges of failing to provide adequate veterinary care to a number of dogs.
The prosecution against them was brought after an SSPCA investigation following complaints from people who bought pups from the Bairds.
One buyer claimed that only four days after she had bought a pup from the couple, a vet came to the conclusion that the animal was so poorly it had to be put down.
Sheriff John Montgomery agreed to a motion from Jim Kelman, prosecuting, that a warrant should be granted for Thomas Baird’s arrest. The case against Elizabeth Baird was continued without plea.