A CHARLTON woman convicted and fined $40,000 for operating an illegal puppy farm at Lake Marmal plans to establish another dog breeding business near Bridgewater.
Kerrie Maree Fitzpatrick, 39, pleaded guilty to 68 charges under the Domestic Animals Act from the Loddon Shire Council for having unregistered dogs, an unregistered business, pens not of the minimum size and other offences in the Kerang Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
The court heard Fitzpatrick kept 63 dogs on the property east of Charlton, housed in cages and pens.
Loddon Shire inspectors visited the site on December 4 and 6 in 2013 after a building permit was granted, but the required works had not been completed.
Inspectors found dirt on the floors, three dogs in one pen, no individual sleeping areas and no business records.
Fifteen of the 68 dogs were registered to Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick told the officers she "had trouble with the council and didn't think it would look good to have 100 dogs registered".
The court heard Fitzpatrick has since sold the property at Lake Marmal and a second property, using the money to buy a property near Bridgewater where she is building another dog breeding establishment.
She told the court the business is "half built" and she still needs to build the runs for the dogs.
Fitzpatrick earned $10,000 per year for two years for the sale of the dogs, which had not been declared to the tax office.
As a Dogs Victoria member, she was allowed to keep nine fertile dogs on the property, far below her eventual number.
Magistrate David Faram said her first puppy business had "failed spectacularly".
"We need to ensure people do not profit on the back of cruelty to animals," he said.
"When you enter into these businesses, you need to do so lawfully and abide by very strict obligations."
Fitzpartick was convicted and fined $40,000.
She was also ordered to forfeit the income business to the Australian Taxation Office for further enquiries.
The woman who operated an illegal puppy farm at Lake Marmal should never be allowed to start one again, Oscar's Law founder Debra Tranter says.
The anti-puppy farm activist attended the hearing at the Kerang Magistrates' Court on Thursday where Kerrie Maree Fitzpatrick was convicted and fined $40,000 for 68 violations of the Domestic Animals Act.
Ms Tranter said while it was positive to see people convicted for the offences, magistrates needed to go further with their sentencing.
"The problem is, she is free to continue breeding dogs," she said.
"The $40,000 fine sounds significant, but without a banning order it doesn't go far enough.
"She can pay that fine off with seven litters."
New laws give magistrates the power to ban people convicted of operating illegal puppy farms to start again.
Ms Tranter said it was pleasing the issue of tax evasion was brought up.
"This is rarely heard of, so it was pleasing that the tax issue will be taken further," she said.