BASSETLAW Council has suspended stray dog admissions to Carlton Forest Kennels to investigate allegations of malpractice made in a Facebook campaign group.
More than 6,000 people have joined the online Justice for Barney group in the past week - prompting the council to suspend kennel owner Pamela Denton’s licence.
Tiffanie Reynolds, 21, started the group days after a council dog warden took Barney to Carlton Forest on 27th December - the same day he escaped from her Worksop home.
She claims Miss Denton re-homed him before the official seven-day period without making the proper home checks with his new owners.
Miss Reynolds said she was ‘devastated’ to receive a call from Forest Veterinary Clinic in Mansfield on Saturday 5th January to say Barney had been found and needed emergency treatment.
“I was physically sick. They told me he was in a really bad way and was severely burnt. When I visited him the burns were so bad they had to be covered by a towel,” she said.
“I gave him the best life he possibly could - he was nothing less than my baby, my company when I was lonely, my tissue when I cried and my smile when I was down.”
After Barney was put to sleep on Tuesday 8th January, hundreds of people have commented on Facebook about negative experiences at Carlton Forest.
But Miss Denton maintains she re-homed Barney on a trial basis on Thursday 3rd January eight days after he was admitted and said Barney escaped from his new owners that afternoon.
She said that she has followed the correct procedures and that no money exchanged hands between her and his trial owners in Mansfield.
Miss Denton said the abuse she has received since Justice for Barney was set up has left her scared for her life.
“I have been too terrified to leave the house. Only last Thursday I had three men come to the kennels with a knife and threaten to slit my throat,” she said.
“It’s also made me feel ashamed that people even think I could do this to dogs - they are my life.”
The attending vet at Forest Veterinary Clinic said Barney had thermal burns to his rear and haunches - most likely to be caused by hot liquid such as coffee.
“At no point did I suggest or think that the dog had had this done to him deliberately - there was no evidence to suggest that,” he said.
“Barney had cataracts and had poor vision. He had also been living rough for a few days and had marks rather than cuts that were consistent with being in kennels.”
Bassetlaw Council said they received six separate complaints about Barney straying since 19th September last year - two of which included complaints about the dog knocking over bins and defecating on neighbours’ lawns.
A spokesman said they are working with the RSPCA and a vet to investigate the allegations and are using alternative kennel accommodation.
“We have used Carlton Forest Kennels to house stray dogs for over 20 years and has worked with the present owners since 2008,” she said.
“The last inspection of the kennels took place in November 2011 and no issues with the stray dog kennelling facilities were found at that time.”
A Notts Police spokesman said: “We are looking at the Facebook page and warn people that any threats, whether made in person, online or over phone can result in an arrest.”