KENNEL bosses in have thanked their supporters as they hit back at claims they aren’t looking after abandoned animals.
Cleadon Kennels, based within West Hall Boarding Kennels, in Cleadon Lane, is the subject of on online petition over the alleged mistreatment of dogs.
The petition calls on Sunderland City Council to cancel its contract with the kennels – which allows them to take in strays found wandering the streets – and now has almost 7,500 signatures.
But John Carr, who runs the kennels with his wife, Lorraine, says he is shocked by the claims and has since been inundated with calls of support.
He said: “The phones have been ringing off the hook all day with people saying they couldn’t believe what they’d read and offering us support, which we appreciate.
“We’ve got two kennels here and people are mixing them up. West Hall Boarding Kennels is for private boarding and Cleadon Kennels is the local authority side of it. But there’s no difference in standard. The dogs are well cared for on both sites.
The phones have been ringing off the hook all day with people saying they couldn’t believe what they’d read and offering us support.Lorraine Carr, Cleadon Kennels
“The dogs are checked on by our staff all the time and a vet comes out every week to do health checks, so they are very well looked after.”
He added: “I was shocked by what everyone was saying. We’re doing an excellent job here and the best one that we can.
“We’ve been running the local authority kennels since 1993 and there has never been any problem before.”
Mr Carr said that Environmental Health visited the kennels yesterday.
The story sparked a big online response with Shields Gazette readers.
Heather Smith posted on Facebook, saying: “It might not be a palace but at least they are alive, dry and fed.”
But Jill Foy simply said: “It should be shut down.”
Lisa Marie added: “It’s not as if it’s only one person that has complained – it’s a number of people.”
Julez Rutter said: “Got two of our dogs there. They were fine and we visit regularly to give other dogs treats. Never seen any mistreatment.”
Angela Price said: “I for one will sign this petition. Place needs updating.”
But Martin Brown said: “We used the kennels all the time and we had no problems.”
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We don’t confirm whether we’ve been contacted about an establishment or individual until such a time as we’ve established whether there is in fact, cause for concern.
“As I’m sure you can appreciate, us having received a call does not necessarily mean that is the case.”
A joint statement from South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council said: “We are aware of the campaigners’ allegations and will give them the proper attention.
“Regular inspections are carried out at all kennels, and the last scheduled visit to Cleadon in December revealed no problems.
Another inspection is planned in response to the allegations, and we can assure everyone that appropriate action will be taken if necessary.”