THE RSPCA says it is satisfied with the way animals are being treated at a sanctuary after an evicted owner said she was disgusted at how they were being cared for.
Paula Campbell raised concerns over the welfare of more than 300 animals at Rainbow Ark Animal Sanctuary in Willington, County Durham, after she was evicted last Wednesday.
But the RSPCA visited the sanctuary at Milkup Bank Farm this afternoon (February 3) and said they had no issues with the way the animals are being looked after by a security firm acting on behalf of Redstone Mortgage Company.
Ms Campbell’s eviction after falling into mortgage arrears has provoked an uproar among animal lovers.
More than £41,000 has been donated to an internet fund set up to help relocate the animals, while many have left supportive comments on social media sites.
She and several supporters visited the sanctuary on Sunday and claimed that they were horrified with what they saw.
Ms Campbell claimed: “Animals were living in squalid conditions, it was filthy and they had dirty water.
“They are not being cared for at all, it is disgusting what is happening to them.”
But an RSPCA spokeswoman said: "The RSPCA has been back to this location this afternoon (Monday 3 February) to check on the animals and to ensure their needs are being met by those responsible for them.
“Advice has been given and further visits will be made but we are satisfied with the welfare of the animals on site.”
Ms Campbell has also said several animals have been put down, but the RSPCA spokeswoman said the charity was only aware of one guinea pig that had to be destroyed due to poor health.
A cat and two horses have been taken away by the RSPCA because of “concerns for their welfare."
Meanwhile, Ms Campbell’s supporters are also hoping to mount a legal challenge against her eviction.
Guy Taylor, a legal forensics operative based in Hereford, said court papers have been requested as he believes the action taken last Wednesday may have been illegal.
He said: “We do not believe what happened to Paula is right and want to fight it, we need to see the court papers which we should receive in the next 48 hours.”
A spokeswoman for Redstone Mortgages has previously said the eviction notice was served correctly and was a last resort after seven years of Ms Campbell “consistently showing she cannot afford her mortgage”.