Dogs on Death Row at Sheffield sanctuary

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THESE are just some of the dogs placed on death row after the council slapped a noise abatement order on the animals’ Sheffield sanctuary.

The council made the order against Mill House Animal Sanctuary in Mayfield Road, Fulwood, after a neighbour – Bryan Longstone-Hull – complained the dogs were barking too loudly.

Mr Longstone-Hull, aged 73, who has lived next door to the sanctuary for 40 years, says the dogs’ barking leaves him unable to sleep at night.

“Can you imagine the noise they make day in day out, how you don’t get any sleep when it goes on all through the night?” he said.

“I approached the sanctuary about the problem but nothing was done, which is why I had to report it to the council. They monitored the noise for 10 days and described it as excessive.

“There was one dog howling continuously from 5pm until 2am, then from 3am to 6am.”

Sanctuary owner Pat Hartley, 70, and her twin sister Jane say the noise abatement order means that, unless the dogs stop barking, or an owner is found for them, they will have to be destroyed.

If not they say the sanctuary – which has been rescuing abandoned animals for 64 years – will be forced to close.

Star readers have left comments on our website, most of them supporting the sanctuary.

Reader ‘xfox3X’ said: “I feel disgusted and upset that the council can take such action about one complaint, when we read in The Star stories of people making a misery of their neighbours’ lives for months and years.

“No action is taken before the community around them have jumped through several hoops of gathering signatures, evidence, and often getting verbal and physical abuse from the perpetrators.”

Web poster ‘Nina S’ said: “I am so sorry for both the ladies involved and the dogs.”

‘NoGaGa’ wrote: “Unbelievable...leave them alone.”

But others, like Anne Garvey, disagreed. She said: “I do feel for anyone having to listen to barking – it drives you mad.”

Chris Day, of Seven Creative Marketing, contacted The Star after visiting the Sanctuary with his friend Rachel Sinclair, who took photographs of some of the animals they met on the day.

Chris said the pictures had been taken in an attempt to raise the profile of the sanctuary which was ‘doing a marvellous job’.

“I live just across the valley and have always had a soft spot for the place,” he said.

“I even adopted my own dog Max from Mill House and it’s not just dogs they rescue.

“There are horses – one called Daisy which was due to be slaughtered even though it was in foal – a llama, a fox, and all sorts of other animals.

“It would be a great pity if the sanctuary were to close.”

The Hartley sisters tried to appeal the council order but found legal costs were too high.

And a council suggestion that they solve the problem by erecting a soundproof barrier would also prove too expensive for the charity to afford.

Reader ‘Mariarose’ wrote on The Star’s website: “Come on Sheffield Council, this is insane. A sound-proof fence? What animal charity has funds for that?”