‘No concerns’ over Sheffield dog day care centre, say RSPCA inspectors

The Doggy Den on Little London Road in Sheffield.
The Doggy Den on Little London Road in Sheffield.
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The RSPCA has said it has ‘no concerns’ about a Sheffield dog day care facility which found itself at the centre of an animal abuse furore.

The RSPCA has said it has ‘no concerns’ about a Sheffield dog day care facility which found itself at the centre of an animal abuse furore.

Owner, Tom Greatorex.

Owner, Tom Greatorex.

Videos purporting to show employees of the Doggy Den on Little London Road kicking dogs and throwing toys at them emerged online on Sunday.

The videos were shared thousands of times on Facebook and led to the business owner and his staff receiving ‘thousands’ of death threats.

But the RSPCA visited the centre on Monday and said they were satisfied the incidents were ‘historic’ and that they had ‘no concerns’ about standards at the business.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.

A client at the centre.

A client at the centre.

“We are aware of these videos which we understand are all historic, relating to incidents that took place over a year ago and which were resolved at that time.

"We have visited the establishment today and we have no concerns regarding the current standards and activities at the facility, the owner/manager having provided a full account of those historic incidents.

“The premises is also inspected as a licensed boarding facility by the local authority.”

The case was widely reported and the video has been shared more than 12,000 times on social media.

The Doggy Den's 'pack room'.

The Doggy Den's 'pack room'.

One customer, Julia Cox claimed that the Doggy Den ‘almost killed’ her pet pug Frankie after mistakenly letting him spend too much time with older dogs when he was still a puppy.

But Alex Wheatley said his Labradoodle had been attending the centre since February, and he was very happy with the care she was receiving.

He said: “She loves it here. She is always jumping at the door to get in.

“We would not have even got her if we weren’t confident in this place.”

Doggy Den owner Tom Greatorex said he accepts they let Ms Cox down but added it was a ‘genuine mistake’.

A statement released on the Doggy Den’s Facebook page on Monday said that as a result of the row, additional safeguards had been implemented at the centre ‘with immediate effect’.

The new measures include retraining all staff, upgrading the CCTV system and introducing new confidential reporting arrangements.

Angela Owens, animal control and enforcement officer, said: “The animal control team and licensing service are aware of the recent videos that have been posted on Facebook.

“We are currently investigating the matter and will be visiting in due course.”