GUILTY: Gisborne Dog Breeder Convicted

Home   >   Latest News   |   12 Nov 2019

Last month, a Gisborne breeder was found guilty of operating an illegal 'domestic animal business'.

That breeder, Colin Sarantis, operating as "Ibiza Whippets" was also found guilty of offences under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, including "failing to provide veterinary care".

Oscar's Law was one of the organisations that assisted Macedon Ranges Shire Council and provided witness statements for the hearing in the Magistrates Court, which was set down for two days. Before this, it was adjourned multiple times, all initiated by Sarantis.

Members of the Oscar's Law team were also on standby to be called as witnesses, as well as those that assisted in the rescue, fostering and rehabilitation of his dogs.

Sarantis didn't even bother showing up for the hearing and again, attempted to have it adjourned. In a letter written to the court to explain his absence and read out by the magistrate, Sarantis claimed that he was stressed and needed a holiday to de-stress (yep, seriously).

The magistrate noted the number of adjournments already granted to Sarantis over a lengthy period of time and made the decision to hear the case without him present.

The court heard that Sarantis kept large numbers of whippets and pharaoh hounds confined to small wire crates. These crates were small and completely unacceptable living conditions. Veterinary evidence was also presented, showing the dogs suffered a range of physical and psychological trauma due to their poor living conditions and lack of socialisation.

Sarantis was found guilty on all charges.

 He is now disqualified from owning or being a person in charge of dogs, or in the breeding and/or sale of dogs for 10 years. A conviction was also recorded, he received a $7,000 fine and was ordered to pay costs.

We are pleased with the outcome, but disappointed that Sarantis is allowed to keep up to 4 dogs as pets. The court ordered that these dogs must undergo an annual health check and monitoring provisions so that Macedon Ranges Shire Council can ensure compliance. 

Pictured are two lucky whippets saved and fostered by the rescue involved, who have since found new forever homes.

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