Officers keep the peace at protest

A campaign group against Leigh Cats and Dogs Home held a protest near the premises on the East Lancashire Road
A campaign group against Leigh Cats and Dogs Home held a protest near the premises on the East Lancashire Road

POLICE had to be called to a silent vigil outside an animal centre after some of the demonstrators allegedly began shouting abuse at staff.

Members for a new campaign group called Justice for Leigh Animals (J4LA) attended the event on the East Lancs Road, along with other protesters, which they say was being held “to remember and commemorate the inhumane and unnecessary deaths of the very many animals that have been entrusted into the care of Leigh Dogs and Cats Home”.

Officers attended as a result of some of the 30 demonstrators getting close to the home and allegedly shouting abuse at staff and members of the public who were visiting the centre.

A spokesman for GMP said: “Officers attended and the demonstrators did move back from the shelter to the area where the protest was being held.

“They remained at the scene to make sure there were no breaches of the peace.”

J4LA say they were invited to the vigil by its unknown organiser as part of their campaign to “expose decades of animal welfare abuse at the hands of LCDH and see that the home is answerable for these atrocities”.

It claims animals have been put down unfairly or sold on before their owners could claim them while other dogs have fallen ill soon after being purchased from the home.

In a statement following the vigil, a spokesman for J4LA said: “Over many years LDCH have operated in an unscrupulous manner, claiming to be a charity, changing the name multiple times and taking donations from the unsuspecting public for the financial gain of the owners - whilst killing hundreds of healthy animals that they could not sell.

“We are a voice for the animals and the very many people that have been affected by the actions of LDCH and have in our possession, multiple testimonies detailing the cruelty, malpractice, mis-selling and mistreatment of animals at this establishment.”

J4LA says it wants to raise awareness of the way they say the home is operating and to have its status as a community interest company revoked.

Leigh Cats and Dogs Home was unavailable to comment on the vigil but has in the past labelled the allegations as “spurious comments on social media”.

It said it had received no complaints in a more “suitable fashion” and was therefore unable to comment or investigate the allegations.

The council is currently working with the RSPCA, Leigh Cats and Dogs Home and council enforcement teams to find a solution to the issues that have been raised.