Illegal dog breeder sentenced 

A KINGSWOOD man illegally bred dogs and kept them in appalling conditions,  Bristol Crown Court heard.

Atilla Kovacs, of Two Mile Hill Road, received a sentence of 24 months (suspended for 21 months) and 150 hours community service. A 10-year Criminal Behaviour Order was also placed against him.

It followed an investigation by Bristol Trading Standards that resulted in the rescue of seven dogs. Concerns were raised in April 2020  about pregnant dogs and puppies being illegally imported into the UK, to an address occupied by Mr Kovacs. A number of individuals and addresses, both in Bristol and outside the UK,were also identified.

Officers searched the property and found seven dogs being kept in bare cages in a shipping container in Mr Kovacs’s garden. The dogs were immediately seized due to the poor conditions they were being kept in, which was causing serious suffering.

Mr Kovacs entered a guilty plea in October 2022 to six charges of causing unnecessary suffering (under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006), one charge of failing to ensure the needs of an animal are met, and one charge of breeding dogs without a licence (under sections 9 and 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006).

Mr Kovacs was given a Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from future involvement in the importation, sale, advertising or distribution of animals. There will also be restrictions in place which will prevent him from having more than two domestic pets which must be photographed and microchipped. He must also notify the local authority in relation to any future changes of address.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said “Unlicensed puppy dealers and breeders like this sadly always prioritise profit over animal welfare. We refuse to tolerate such activities in Bristol and hope today’s court verdict sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can make money from this illegal and abhorrent trade.

“Puppies bought from unlicensed breeders are often reared in appalling conditions and are likely to suffer ill health as a result. They can also be at risk of congenital health problems and may not have been vaccinated correctly.

“If you are planning to buy a new puppy, make sure you do your research and find a legitimate breeder and always ensure that you see the puppy interacting with its mother. If you are able to, please consider adopting.”

If you have concerns that your puppy may have been bred as a consequence of illegal breeding contact your local Trading Standards Team. Any information on illegal dog breeding in Bristol can be passed to Bristol Trading Standards via