By Luke Voogt
Former Geelong businessman Kon Petropoulos and wife Liudmila Petropoulos face animal cruelty charges after RSPCA investigators seized nine kittens in raids at their Ballarat property.
In July Victoria’s Major Investigations Team executed two warrants at the property after receiving several tip-offs following a public appeal for information.
The reports claimed the couple was breaching a court-ordered ban by allegedly continuing to operate an illegal domestic animal-rearing business.
Investigators on Tuesday charged both Mr and Mrs Petropoulos with multiple offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The charges include confining an animal in a manner causing or likely to cause unreasonable pain or suffering, and failing to provide veterinary or appropriate attention or treatment.
Investigators also charged Mr and Mrs Petropoulos for allegedly breaching a court order banning them from selling animals.
Mr Petropoulos faces additional charges under the Domestic Animals Act including failure to comply with the mandatory code of practice, selling of animals in a public place and offences relating to the advertising of animals for sale.
Major Investigations Team leader Lisa Calleja said public information was crucial in RSPCA investigations into possible animal cruelty.
“We rely on public informants to provide tip-offs and information which legally enables us to investigate cases like these.
“With the information we received from the public we were able to execute warrants, seize nine kittens and ultimately lay these new charges.”
The sale of animals in public places such as parks, roadsides and car parks is illegal.
Dogs and cats must be sold from either a registered domestic animal business, from a private residence or sold at a place where an animal sale permit is in place.
Ms Calleja urged anyone who suspected animal cruelty or the illegal selling of animals to phone 9224 2222 or lodge a report online at www.rspcavic.org/services/tip-off.