DOZENS of pet owners have come forward with allegations about Woodshaw Kennels at Manor House Farm after a border collie cross was savaged by other dogs.
Since the tragic tale of Rex’s death was uncovered by the Observer’s sister paper, the Evening Post, readers have taken to social media to tell of their experiences at Woodshaw Kennels, in Aspull, owned by George Marsden.
Rex’s owner, Gary Fish, returned from a break in Kent, to find his 16-year-old pet’s tail had been mauled and covered with blood.
The wound, which appeared not to be treated, had maggots, leaving Rex, who is blind in one eye, in pain.
Mr Fish, from Ashton, took him to the vets, where he had to be put down.
Since the the story broke, the family of Mr Marsden has said they are “devastated” by the incident.
Caring for animals is why they went into the business. They don’t want any impression to be given that they are not bothered, because they areA spokeswoman for the kennels
As the RSPCA is investigating, the organisation was unable to comment, but a spokesman for Wigan Council revealed it had only ever received one complaint, in 2012.
But one reader, who did not wish to be named, said she reported Mr Marsden, of Manor House Farm, to the RSPCA a few months ago.
She said: “I used to store my caravan on the farm and I noticed how badly kept the animals were.
“The guy didn’t seem to show any interest in the animals, and as he is quite old, I asked him how he walked them and he told me he did so when he could be bothered. I noticed piles of excrement in the pens and when I returned several hours later, there was even more piles.
“I even gave the dogs a chew because they looked so sad.
“I reported it to the RSPCA, but I don’t know if anything had come from it. I have read several comments about the place and if everyone had got together to complain, this could have been prevented.”
Meanwhile, readers have taken to Facebook to share their experiences.
Dave Willons posted: “I looked there once to leave my dog. The place was dirty and stank, so I took him to another kennel. That place doesn’t surprise me.”
Mr Marsden, 74, told the Evening Post that two Jack Russells had managed to get their paws under a partition in the pens and pull at Rex’s tail and leg. He put him in isolation, but had made no attempts to call a vet or inform Mr Fish, 50, of Ashton.
In response to the petition, he said: “They can shut me down. Why should I bother. I get complaints all the time.”
Mr Fish added: “I can’t believe his reaction – he doesn’t care.”
Since then Mr Marsden’s family has contacted the Observer.
A spokeswoman said: “Contrary to any impression previously given, the family are absolutely devastated about this.
“This is their livelihood and this is the last thing they would have wanted or needed to happen.
“Caring for animals is why they went into the business. They don’t want any impression to be given that they are not bothered, because they are.
“It has been blown out of all proportion by social media.”