Charlie Swan, 66, advertised puppies for sale and conned customers who came to his compound by showing them cuddly pets in a clean and well-lit pen.
But Falkirk Sheriff Court heard yesterday the reality was that remote Darnbogue Farm in Plean, near Falkirk, where Swan ran his unlicensed business, was a ramshackle eyesore made up of filthy shipping containers stinking of stale faeces.
The animals within them were riddled with lice and disease, and one had been so badly injured – apparently in an organised dog fight – that even Swan said he did not expect it to live.
Dog lovers who handed over hundreds of pounds for puppies found they were so sick they had to pay for expensive vet bills.
Shona McJannett, prosecuting, said receipt books showed that Swan, who set up in Plean after illegal kennels he kept near Stirling were shut in a council crackdown in 2006, raked in nearly £12,500 from the sale of puppies between March and August last year.
The farm was raided on 5 August, 2011, after animal charity the SSPCA received “numerous complaints”.
In the sleeping area at the back of a kennel, the body of a chocolate Labrador in advanced decomposition was found.
Swan, of Stirling, pled guilty to selling dogs without a licence, keeping dogs in soiled and inadequate conditions, failing to provide vet treatment, failing to protect them from suffering and disease, and failing to provide fresh water and suitable food.
Sheriff John Mundy deferred sentence to 31 May for reports.