Oxford

RSPCA 'warned' a year before Oxfordshire animal deaths

View of rear of Crunchy's Rescue centre in Longworth
Image caption Horses, dogs, chickens and goats were taken away from the centre

The RSPCA was contacted by a concerned dog owner about an Oxfordshire rescue centre one year before it was raided, it has been claimed.

The charity removed 78 animals from Crunchy's Rescue near Abingdon last weekend after the deaths of a horse and a rabbit.

Kathy Clements said she tried to alert the charity to "filthy conditions" at the centre 12 months ago.

The RSPCA said it would not comment as it was an "ongoing investigation".

Ms Clements, who lives in Wales, said: "There were lots of complaints coming through regarding the rescue centre, about the filthy conditions.

"Dogs coming out of there, they were soaking wet, just in a bad way.

"So it was at that point we contacted the RSPCA to see if they would go in to take a look."

Ms Clements also claimed that police had described the centre to her as a "hell hole".

An RSPCA spokeswoman said it had been called to take action by a concerned member of the public ahead of the three-day operation at the weekend.

Crunchy's Rescue owner Angela Russell has denied mistreating any of her animals and said many had been successfully rehomed by the centre.

In total the RSPCA removed 29 dogs, 13 horses and a number of chickens, goats, cats, ducks and a cockerel.

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