The police seizure of a reported 65 dogs from a van and house in Cowes has led to a number of claims and counter-claims from the owner of the dogs, Penny Lyndon, her neighbours and the authorities.
Local residents stopped a van in its tracks on Fellows Road in the late hours of Tuesday evening and prevented it from driving away, after members of the public had become increasingly concerned for the welfare of whimpering animals inside. The Police were then called to the scene, and a white Fiat van was found to contain a large number of dogs, with even more packed into a nearby house.
Due to the condition of the animals, the dogs were seized by Officers and handed over into the care of the RSPCA.
No arrests were made, but the RSPCA are investigating the situation. The animal centre, based in Godshill, subsequently appealed for small-breed, canned, wet dog food, small-breed dog collars, sheets and blankets. The seized dogs are believed to be chihuahuas.
The seizure of the dogs and the subsequent appeals from the RSPCA resulted in a fierce reaction from social media, with harsh criticism directed towards the owner of the neglected dogs.
‘Diana’ took to Facebook to say: “Let us know who these cruel people are so we can look out for them and safeguard our beloved dogs. They should be named and have their photo displayed to discourage others from carrying out the same cruelty.
Another internet user wrote: “How on earth can anyone look after that amount of animals?
“It’s absolutely disgusting. I really hope all these poor dogs find new loving home.
“This person should be prosecuted and banned from keeping any animals for life.
“Well done to everyone who stopped this.”
The IW Observer spoke with the owner of the chihuahuas, Penny Lyndon. First. we asked her how many dogs were in her possession. Ms Lyndon claimed that she had no more than 15 dogs in the van and another five in the house.
When asked why the RSPCA had appealed for 60 leads, Ms Lyndon claimed to have no more than four or five leads.
Ms Lyndon said: “If I had 65 dogs, why would I have no more than four or five leads?”
Ms Lyndon further claimed to have been the victim of persecution from her new neighbours, who had, according to her, told the Police a ‘pack of lies’.
She said: “The Police believe neighbours. I was physically attacked by about 12 of them. My arms are completely covered in bruises and my clothes were ripped to pieces.
“The neighbours are little better than vigilantes. I made a complaint to the Police about what happened, but they just weren’t interested.
Ms Lyndon claimed that the ‘lies’ neighbours had told about her made her fearful for her safety.
She said: “It has got so bad that I have chosen to park my car three streets away and then run to my house.
“Every time I leave my home, 3 or 4 Jeremy Kyles are on the phone to each other and then they start to give me hassle.
Regarding the claims made about her on social media, Ms Lyndon said: “I’m not a puppy farmer. My dogs are not used for dog baiting.
“I’ve just moved into a new house, and I left the dogs in the van while I tried to make it secure.
“The neighbours claimed that the dogs had been left in the van simce 6.30 in the morning. However, during that time I walked the dogs in Parkhurst Forest and was in plenty of other places. I have the receipts to prove this.”
Ms Lyndon believed herself to be a fit and proper person to be entrusted with the care of animals. She even said she had a Foundation Degree in Animal Welfare and Behaviour from Merrist Wood College in Guildford.
When asked why there had been no dog food in the house she had been occupying, Ms Lyndon said: “I didn’t keep food in the house because it was warm. I feed my dogs on raw food.”
A friend of Ms Lyndon, who didn’t want to be named, supported Ms Lyndon’s claim to be kind to her animals, claiming that the dog owner would often feed her pets before herself.
The IW Observer also spoke to the company which had hired the van to Ms Lyndon. A representative of Prime Drive, based in Shalfleet, said: “When the van was returned to us, it was in a really disgusting condition, with excrement inside. We won’t be able to hire it out until its been decontaminated.”
Ms Lyndon responded to the statement of the van hire company by saying: “The van smelt because I was taking some bedding to the dump, after some water had leaked onto it from the roof. The bedding had been damaged by the dogs whilst it had been inside the van, but it was not being used as bedding for the dogs.”