Barkingside pet shop under investigation after complaints and petition to Redbridge Council

Redbridge Council is formally investigating an Ilford pet shop and rescue after a number of complaints about the health and welfare of its animals.

More than 300 people signed a petition which called for the council to act against Catwalk Pets and Rescue in High Street, Barkingside.

A council spokesperson said an inspection carried out last week found “a number of matters that will require more formal investigation”.

Director Iqbal Azhar said on Thursday that he was not aware his business was being investigated by the council but that he was not doing anything illegal.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “We take any complaints about the health and welfare of animals extremely seriously.

“Several concerns have been raised regarding these premises, and as a result, we carried out a full and thorough inspection last week.

“We found there to be a number of matters that will require a more formal investigation; the issues raised are such that our inquiries are still ongoing.

“We will be recommending an immediate adjustment concerning their star rating, reducing it to one star.

“Following the outcome of the formal investigation we will look into taking further measures.”

A petition signed by 334 people alleges the shop “isselling ex-breeding dogs as re-homes without carrying out essential medical care or doing sufficient home checks of new owners”.

It adds: “It beggars belief that Redbridge Council has continued to license Catwalk Pets despite numerous complaints over many years and concerns for animal welfare.”

An article published in a national tabloid today claims a shih-tzu sold by the business, described as having eye and dental issues, had a number of serious health problems.

Director Mr Azhar said he was not aware of the article or the petition against his business.

He said the council had not informed him his business was being investigated and that he was not doing anything illegal.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter