A controversial pet shop deemed unsuitable for animals by a vet and where the manager was fined for selling a sick puppy is no longer allowed to sell livestock
The Leading Pet Company (LPC) in Sutton High Street, formerly known as Petsville International, has been the subject of numerous complaints about the way it treated animals and other incidents in the shop and even featured in an episode of the BBC's Rogue Traders.
But now it is not allowed to sell any animals after it did not apply for the its licence to be renewed - although Sutton Council said it would not have granted a licence even if it had applied after the manager was fined for selling a sick dog and a vet condemned conditions in the shop.
Pet Shops must apply for their licences to be renewed at the end of each calendar year. LPC failed to do that last year meaning the shop is no longer allowed to sell livestock, although it is allowed to sell pet supplies.
The council's licensing officers have to judge whether licences can be handed out and had warned LPC it was not likely to get its licence as owner Ben Boys was facing a court case over selling a sick dog - something he was fined £500 for in January - and a vets report concluded conditions in the shop were not up to standard.
Council licensing manager Richard Winch said: "[Mr Boys] was aware that if he was to apply then we would be likely to refuse it on the recommendation of the vet's report.
"It was a number of factors, not just one thing, that the report picked up on. It comes down to whether the premises was a habitable place."
Signs have been put up in the shop saying that no animals are for sale and that it is due to be refurbished. However, if it is refurbished and reapplies for a licence, a panel of councillors will have to decide whether it should be granted.
A freedom of information request revealed Sutton Council received 53 complaints about the shop between 2008 and July last year. They included people buying sick dogs, complaints about the "disgusting" conditions in the shop and there being a dead rabbit in the store.
In 2010 an in investigation had to be launched after a toddler was bitten in the face by a non-venomous corn snake in the shop.
Mr Winch added: "It's always been the focus of a lot of complaints because it's the only pet shop in the borough that sold dogs.
"However the complaints don't always reflect the reality - we even got complaints from people who hadn't been in there.
"It hasn't always been the best run establishment but it had followed legal requirements."
Have you had any bad experiences with Petsville or the Leading Pet Company? If so contact reporter Mike Pyle on 0208 772 6359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.