Pair in court following suspected stolen dogs raid at West Meadows

More than 80 suspected stolen dogs were seized following a raid at West Meadows travellers site on the outskirts of Ipswich.

Dozens of suspected stolen dogs were recovered from West Meadows travellers' site on the outskirts of Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Two people have appeared in court charged in connection with a police operation which saw dozens of suspected stolen dogs recovered from the West Meadows travellers' site on the edge of Ipswich.

A total of 85 dogs of various breeds and ages were found at the site, where police, assisted by partner agencies, executed warrants on Saturday, March 20.

Six people were arrested at the time of the operation, which involved a police presence at the site for almost 10 hours.

Two people, a 47-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday morning.

Maria Lee, 47, of West Meadows, has been charged with five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 — namely three cocker spaniels, a French bulldog and a German shepherd.

Maria Lee leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Maria Lee leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

She is also charged with one count of failure to be responsible for animals to ensure its welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 — namely 67 dogs, chickens, parrots, finch and a cockatiel.

She is further charged with one count of aiding or abetting a breach of a disqualification imposed after conviction — or knowingly allowing and assisting a disqualified individual to continue to keep animals.

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Stacy Humphrys, 34, of West Meadows, has been charged with two counts of breaching a disqualification imposed after conviction by participating in the keeping of two cocker spaniels and a cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Stacy Humphrys leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Stacy Humphrys leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

He is also charged with one count of failure to be responsible for animals to ensure their welfare under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 — namely 67 dogs, chickens, parrots, finch and a cockatiel.

Both defendants spoke only to confirm their names, address and dates of birth.

Lee and Humphrys have yet to enter any pleas in answer to the charges, due to an application by defence counsel Dan Taylor for a seven-day adjournment to determine whether the case should be heard at magistrates' court or before a judge and jury at the crown court.

The pair were released on conditional bail until another hearing at the same court on the afternoon of Friday, July 30.

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