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Watch: 50 protest outside Dogs4Us Salford in wake of Panorama

Protesters staged a day-long protest outside the Dogs4Us puppy sales store in Salford on Saturday.

It came after BBC Panorama broadcast a programme in May (still available on iPlayer) investigating breeders it claimed were treating puppies “like cattle”.

In a statement David Lancaster, Salford City Council’s lead member for environment and community safety, said: “We have not received any calls regarding Dogs4Us in the last 18 months but, in light of the concerns raised by the recent TV programme, we will carry out further inspections to be assured all is well.”

Salford City Councillors Howard Balkind and Paul Wilson joined protesters on Agecroft Road.

Councillor Paul Wilson said if people had legitimate concerns about a company they should report it to the council.

The BoycottDogs4Us campaign was created in 2012 after a Channel 5 report investigated Dogs4Us and claimed it had alleged links with Welsh puppy farms where dogs were living in dirty and squalid conditions.

At the time Dogs4Us issued a statement on their website which read: “We feel at Dogs 4 Us that it is time to set the record straight in relation to various pet forums that have sprung up on the internet. This very small percentage of people in the U.K. are trying to discredit our good name by linking us with puppy farms. This is utter nonsense and does not represent what Dogs 4 Us is all about.

“We have been trading for over 45 years at our Manchester branch and for 3 years at our Leeds site.”

Dogs4Us have been contacted for comment but have so far declined.

Protester Aron Mathai told SalfordOnline their group wanted “a ban on puppy farming at a national level and Salford City Council to alter licence conditions at a local level.

He said: “Swindon council, for example, has a licence condition which says puppies have to come from a 45-mile radius around a shop.”

Also speaking at the protest was former Dogs4Us employee Nicola Robinson, who worked at the chain for four years before leaving in 2012.

The former deputy store manager claimed to have compiled a dossier of information about Dogs4Us which she had presented to the local authority.

“The rules are not working, the legislation’s not working,” she said.

Dogs4Us boasts a celebrity clientele including Wayne and Coleen Rooney, Michelle Keegan and Chelsee Healey.

Dogs4Us, whose Salford branch is in Agecroft, is a well-established business and has over 18,000 likes on Facebook.

A post from June 10 reads: “#happyfriday! we are please to announce the following ‪#‎newarrivals‬ at ‪#‎dogs4us‬ ‪#‎westie‬ ‪#‎cavalierkingcharles‬ ‪#‎beagle‬ ‪#‎labrador‬ ‪#‎basset‬ ‪#‎jackrusell‬ ‪#‎bordercollie‬
We also have the following breeds available ‪#‎lhasa‬ ‪#‎boxer‬ ‪#‎minschnauzer‬ ‪#‎retriever‬ ‪#‎chihuahua‬ ‪#‎chinesecrested‬ ‪#‎cockerspaniel‬ ‪#‎maltese‬ ‪#‎siberianhusky‬ ‪#‎papillon‬ ‪#‎shihtzu‬”

Dogs R Us Ltd changed its name to Dogs 4 Us Ltd in 2001.

Dogs 4 Us Ltd went into liquidation in 2011 and was dissolved via a compulsory strike-off in 2015.

The Dogs 4 Us website states that its registered office is: Pet Planet Superstore Ltd, T/A Dogs 4 Us, 3 Worsley Road, Worsley, Manchester.

Pet Planet Superstore Ltd was incorporated in 2011.

Councillor David Lancaster added: “If people have genuine concerns and evidence of poor practice by any licensed premises in Salford, they should contact us with that information.

“The licence inspection is to ensure that any premises which is governed by the Model Conditions for Pet Vending Licensing 2013 is operating in line with what is laid down by law.”

On its website Dogs4Us claims all its pedigree puppies ‘come from licensed breeders and are completely traceable’.

Video by work experience journalist Roberta Barcella

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.