The RSPCA has said it can only operate ‘within the law’ after it was besieged with complaints about dogs chained up and left outside in the snow in Doncaster after a Facebook video went viral.
The animal charity was forced to issue a statement after a video and photos of dogs tethered outside in freezing conditions at an address in Denaby Main was widely shared on Facebook.
Angry animal lovers demanded the RSPCA take action over the pets over fears they would die.
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But the organisation says after carrying out an inspection at the address it is satisfied that the animals have access to food and shelter and that keeping dogs on chains is not illegal.
An inspector went to check on the dogs - a German Shepherd and a Border Collie – after concerns were raised for their welfare – on January 28.
A further inspection was carried out on February 1.
A spokesman said: “The dogs are on long lines with access to a dry barn with bedding.
“They also have a dog kennel with bedding each. They have dry food and fresh water. We offered advice on how best to meet their needs.
“Whilst we understand the concerns of animal lovers about how these dogs are kept, the law says that dogs can live outside providing that their needs are being met.
“Our position is also that dogs should not be tethered for long periods of time as it can cause distress and restrict natural behaviours but, again, this is not illegal and the RSPCA can only operate within the law.”
One angry Facebook poster said: “Plenty of people have contacted the RSPCA but to no avail, I have spoken to them as well and they are not prepared to do anything.
“This is an absolute disgrace, this dog will die.”
The original post by Mick Meanley said: “Look at this poor dog. Kept in a field guarding a small holding.
“The farmer keeps it on a chain with no shelter.
“I've phoned the RSPCA thee times they have done nothing.”