Shocking videos have emerged showing staff at a soggy day care in Sheffield abusing the dogs in their care. Former employees of 'The Doggy Den' have come forward to to reveal the 'horrific abuse' after having the accusations smothered over fear of losing their jobs. Tom Greatorex, manager if The Doggy Den, claims the videos are more than 18 months old and are recordings of several members of staff who no longer work for the company, but concerned pet owners remain sceptical. Three videos have been released, recorded by Jess Hutcheson, who worked at The Doggy Den for eight months in 2017, and they show CCTV footage of staff members kicking dogs and throwing toys at their heads aggressively.
The 26-year-old who lives in Chesterfield said: "I took these videos in March last year and made my manager aware of them. I wanted to highlight the abuse earlier but was too scared to do anything with them as I didn’t want to lose my job. Some of the dogs would viciously attack other dogs, and I know one groomer was bitten by a dog that was in her care. There were never enough staff members to look after the dogs. I walked out a few months after I filmed the footage because I couldn’t stand to work there anymore." There appear to be far too many dogs per member of staff, with at least 20 dogs filling a single room at the centre with two members of disinterested staff keeping an eye on them. Another former dog handler at the centre, who would not reveal their name, filmed another clip which appears to show a dog being kicked and said: "I worked at The Doggy Den for 15 months and in that time I witnessed some horrific abuse of dogs. ‘There were too many dogs to staff members, the dogs would fight all the time; puppies were placed in the same room as adult dogs; the dogs were stressed out and frustrated. I left because I was bitten by one dog and couldn’t cope with the stress and pressure anymore."
If you have a dog and you live in Sheffield never ever leave it with THE DOGGY DEN in Sheffield. The staff kick and hurt them. There’s a video @MailOnline . Shocking. @RSPCA_official need to get in there and quick!!!— Carole Malone (@thecarolemalone) July 23, 2018
"There should only be around 30 dogs in the building at any one time, and there should be one staff member to every six dogs. We used to have between 40 and 60 dogs there each day, and although there was a total of 14 staff, there was no more than four to supervise the dogs." The Doggy Den is advertised online as 'a safe environment' for dogs with 'plenty of trained staff on hand at all times'.
Mr Greatorex, who opened The Doggy Den in 2013, said in a statement: "I can assure our customers and clients that [these videos] are isolated incidents and the staff members in question have now left the business. I can 100% say that this kind of abuse does not happen on our premises. The staff I have working for me are trusted and I have experienced managers who love working at The Doggy Den. I will be calling the council today and inviting them to come to inspect the premise, as we want to tell the truth about what we do here and not what has been portrayed in the videos. I am also happy for the RSPCA to come down and inspect us if they wish."