JUSTICE FOR OUR CANINE PRISONERS - ANIMAL LIFELINE

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ANIMAL LIFELINE,CELLARHEAD. STAFFORDSHIRE.

I am writing this mainly directed to the Charities Commission, and the RSPCA

I have grave concerns about the condition  of the animals in the care of this organisation and in the running of the organisation as a whole.
There are many documented (and evidenced) reports of the Chair, Pat Lawton, finding 'lost' dogs (which can be identified by their microchip) and subsequently denying to the owner, when they have contacted Animal Lifeline in the hope their pet is there, that they have the dog or refusing to hand them back - stories of the charity also hiding dogs, changing names etc. Some, not all, have successfully managed to get their pet back, but not without difficulty.

There are also many reports where people who have a great deal of experience with dogs – behaviourists/experts of a particular breed, people who have experience with that breed for years, who work with breed-specific organisations – who have been eventually vetted by Mrs Lawton, and deemed unsuitable. A large proportion of these people have gone on to successfully re-home dogs from other re-homing shelters. One of these people has now set up a Facebook group for people to share their experiences - dozens and dozens of them - all with a very common thread. Ex-volunteers have also shared their experiences of Mrs Lawton’s attitude to them, the dogs and prospective re-homers.


Many people have also reported they have repeatedly asked for home visits in the hope of re-homing a dog and have heard nothing, while the dog they wanted to re-home is still there many months (years in some cases) later, which is abuse as dogs will suffer stress and anxiety when caged and in a kennels environment for long periods of time. I have witnessed this myself at a recent open day.

A large number of people have reported on the occasions Mrs Lawton has carried out a home visit, this has been late at night and they have found her, unannounced, rummaging around their gardens – this cannot be right.


At the recent open day, sparse  kennels without many blankets, not many dogs seemed to have toys or chews. some open to the elements. A lot of the dogs in the kennels seemed to be unresponsive and miserable - these are dogs which people have applied to rehome but are still in a kennel years later.

I firmly believe this organisation needs to be investigated as a matter of urgency. There is clear evidence of poor practice being carried out at this organisation.

A number of people have been in contact with Martin Tideswell, editor of the (local newspaper) Sentinel but they seem unwilling to get involved. Complaints have also been made to other authorities.

In a nutshell: Yes, you might say that the dogs are not being neglected or abused, but hundreds of applications have been made for these dogs - with perfectly suitable homes - yet for many reasons they seem to make up they are stuck in kennels years later. Whats better for a dog, a loving caring home with a family, or being stuck in a kennel with not much love and affection? I myself take my dog most places. She loves to be with me and is the best companion.

A dog is a mans best friend and rightly so. Help us do something about these dogs imprisoned by this organisation. 

**NOTE** this petition is not to upset the volunteers. They do an amazing job and without them who knows where the dogs would be.