A KENNELS which takes in stray dogs is at the centre of a row after claims it is not properly looking after abandoned animals.
A number of people have contacted our newsdesk to report alleged mistreatment of dogs at Cleadon Kennels.
The RSPCA are coming to inspect because of this but I’ve been here since 1976 and have never had a problem with anything.John Carr
An online petition calling on Sunderland City Council to cancel its contract with the kennels – which allows them to take in strays found wandering the streets – has gathered almost 3,000 signatures.
Bosses at the kennels say they are expecting a visit from the RSPCA over the matter but insist they are the victims of a “hate campaign” and have “nothing to hide”.
The Gazette has been sent pictures that show dogs in kennels with faeces on the floor, with claims that animals are not being given regular water or medical treatment.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “In these filthy appalling conditions the dogs had little or no water and those that did had sawdust all in their water.
“The dogs were looking terrified and shaking uncontrollably .
“I’ve never been somewhere so depressing in my life. It’s absolutley disheartened me.”
John Carr, who runs the kennels, in West Hall, Cleadon Lane, and has been involved with the service for almost 40 years, said the organisation is being victimised as part of a vendetta.
Mr Carr said he was happy for people to visit the kennels to see for themselves – although declined a request from our news team to photograph inside.
“All this is is a hate campaign against us,” he added.
“There are people here every day, and in all the years we’ve been here there’s nothing said about the state of the kennels.” Mr Carr added that inspectors are coming to inspect the kennels over the next few days, but that he and others who run the centre have nothing to hide.
“The RSPCA are coming to inspect because of this but I’ve been here since 1976 and have never had a problem with anything,” said Mr Carr.
“It’s disappointing that this has happened, but we have nothing to hide.
“If anybody wants to come and have a look around, we’d invite them to.
“We even keep Northumbria Police dogs here.
“We open at 9am and close at 6pm and are open at certain times on bank holidays and weekends so you must take us as you find us.”
A Sunderland City Council spokesman said it has been “been made aware of the petition” that has appeared in the change.org website.
The RSPCA could not be contacted for comment over the situation at Cleadon Kennels despite attempts by our news team.