'Extreme concerns' spark probe at borough animal shelter

Leigh Cats and Dogs Home
Leigh Cats and Dogs Home

A borough MP has fought for the review of a local animal shelter following “extremely concerning” revelations.

Jo Platt, MP for Leigh, joined dozens of people outside Leigh Dogs’ and Cats’ Home on Saturday afternoon as part of a “peaceful protest” against the pound which has come under fire from residents.

Leigh MP Jo Platt

Leigh MP Jo Platt

According to the MP, an urgent investigation has been launched at her request after she was contacted by Leigh residents and animal rights activists.

In an “urgent” statement, Ms Platt said: “We have been contacted recently by many constituents regarding Leigh Cats and Dogs Home. We have had several conversations with Wigan Council, who are urgently looking into the matter.

“The conditions that have been sent to me are extremely concerning and I will continue to follow these through. I have also been looking at regulation around rescue and kennelling facilities. Unlike animal breeding establishments rescue homes are not regulated and there are no specific licencing requirements for pet rescue centres in England. This needs to change and I will continue to apply pressure in Parliament.

“I commend the efforts of individuals and groups such as Save Our Strays and Justice Leigh who have long campaigned for better treatment of animals in and around Leigh and have been at the forefront of calls for stronger regulation.”

Last month, campaigners revealed a new project in partnership with Wigan Council which will focus on finding foster homes for animals whose owners will be in hospital or residential care for longer than six weeks.

A spokesperson for Leigh Dogs’ and Cat’s Home said: “Leigh Dogs and Cats Home is a long established rehoming centre. We are regularly inspected by Wigan Council and have also recently been inspected by the RSPCA; Dogs Trust and West Lancs District Council. Unlike other establishments, all of our kennels are included in our boarding licence issued the local authority and therefore all of our procedures and kennels are regulated.

“The welfare of the animals in our care is of paramount importance to us. We do our utmost to reunite stray dogs with their owners, failing that we then endeavour to find the dogs suitable new homes.

“There is no time limit on any dog in our care, all are kept until they are found new homes, be it a day; a week or several years. We often use rescue organisations from around the country to help to rehome the more challenging dogs.

“We are open to the public seven days a week and would like to invite Jo Platt MP to visit our establishment at any time to look round and discuss her concerns with us.”