Chiefs at Basildon council have admitted failure in a stray dogs service, which was exposed by an investigation by the Echo newspaper. The council launched an investigation into the claims by the Echo and found that Novem kennels were in squalid conditions, leaving dogs drinking out of filthy bowls, and even deceased dogs left decomposing in a freezer.
The kennels has now been closed down.
Council investigators have looked into how the kennels had its licence renewed by the council, even though fears were raised by a vet. Nigel Smith, a councillor, was also misled about the state of the kennels.
The deputy council leader, Tony Ball, stated:
I am happy the matter has been resolved and the council will learn from past mistakes. It is accepted I should have been told there had been an inspection outlining concerns the day I responded to Mr Smith.
What has come out will result in better animal welfare in the district.
Processes will be more stringent and there will be more proactive responses to vet reports, like how we respond to concerns over food premises.
None of this would have been brought to light had it not been for the investigation carried out by the Echo. Nigel Smith concluded:
I congratulate the Echo for highlighting this and am satisfied all issues have been looked at. We are now using a new kennels, Novem is no longer trading and we have a very good system in place. Councillors will now get updates and the welfare of animals, the main issue, has improved.
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