THE kennels owner at the centre of a pet mauling scandal last night appeared unfazed at the distress and furore surrounding the death of the dog in his care.
George Marsden claimed that the dog, Rex, was in a “bad state” on arrival and had reached a good age for his breed.
But he did not deny that the animal had somehow managed to be attacked and injured by dogs from an adjoining enclosure at Woodshaw Kennels at Manor House Farm in Aspull.
The 74-year-old said: “I should not have taken the dog in. He was not so well when he came in. He was 16 years old, and not many border collies reach that age.
“Rex was in a pen and in next to him were two Jack Russells. But under the partition is a bit of a gap, so they had pulled the fur off his tail and pulled at his leg.
“I put the dog in isolation and it was not long after that the owner’s friends came to collect him. They could see what had happened and I told them what happened.”
They can shut me down. Why should I bother? I am nearly 75.George Marsden
When confronted about the fact several Evening Post readers expressed they had similar horror stories about their pets, and there were calls for the business to be shut down, he said: “They can shut me down. Why should I bother? I am nearly 75.
“I get a lot of complaints, but people will always complain. I have had the odd dealing with the RSPCA before, but nothing has come of it.”
He added he had no record of who Rex’s owner was and didn’t know how many dogs he was keeping, saying: “They are in and out all the time.”
Rex’s owner Gary Fish, 50, is angry at Mr Marsden’s attitude.
The father-of-four, said: “A friend of mine had picked him up as I was still away. Apparently he was lying down and could not move his back legs. He stank of urine and his coat was in clumps. His tail was usually bushy and curled up, but it was stringy and part of it had come away.
“His tail was severed and there was congealed blood at the end. He had been injured for a while as there were maggots on his wound. Why didn’t he take him to a vet, instead of letting him rot away?
“The kennel owner should have informed us what had happened. He said Rex ‘had taken a dive’ and had to move him into his own pen.
“The owner said he didn’t know anything about his injuries, but as I took him to the vets, antiseptic spray was discovered, meaning they must have known what had happened in order to spray him.
“The emergency vet said that due to his age and condition, there was nothing they could do. He would not survive any treatment, so they had to put him to sleep.
“I was in shock and very angry.
“We have had Rex for 16 years, since he was six weeks old, and he was a family member. My four children grew up with him and they are devastated by our loss.
“We don’t want any other animals to suffer like this. Lots of people have commented on Facebook about how their dog was affected. No-one had really spoken out until now. I can’t believe the owner’s reaction - he doesn’t care.
“This was the first time we had used this kennel. I had tried other places, but they were full. Other than the fact he was going blind in one eye and was a bit deaf, he was healthy when he went in. We thought he would be fine.”
An RSPCA spokesman said it was taking the allegation seriously and was investigating the matter.
She said: “The RSPCA has received five calls, one late on Sunday night and four on Monday morning, about a dog that has been put to sleep on veterinary advice after allegedly being collected from an address where he was being boarded in Wigan.
“An RSPCA officer is looking into what happened and we can’t say any more at this time.”
Wigan Council has also been informed of the complaint and is investigating it.