The owners of controversial pet superstore Dogs 4 Us have applied for planning permission to demolish its kennels, to be replaced by a builder's merchant yard on the Agecroft Road site.
A report by a Salford City Council planning officer explains that "trade has become increasingly difficult. It is believed the store will be forced to close in the near future..."
The report notes "the emergence of serious competitors such as Pets at Home opening five stores in Salford over the past few years and the likes of B+M stores..."
However, Dogs 4 Us has come under massive pressure from campaigners over recent years, including Salford councillors, MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and protest groups like Boycott Dogs4Us which has held regular demonstrations outside the site due to the store's alleged involvement with puppy farms.
Dogs 4 Us has been featured in documentaries exposing the puppy farms trade, including on the BBC's Panorama, Sky News and Channel 4. Last year, Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey expressed her "full support" for the Boycott Dogs4Us protests, saying "I am appalled that dogs are being legitimately sold across Greater Manchester that have suffered the most horrific conditions...This should not be condoned in the UK."
And Salford Councillor Bill Hinds, added: "I support Boycott Dogs4Us in their campaign against puppy farming. The sale of poorly bred dogs has no place in Salford."
Two councillors, Howard Balkind and Paul Wilson, attended protests outside the store... "The Council has a duty of care to the puppies and consumers to ensure that traceability is there and, if not, the licence should be removed" said Councillor Wilson.
Councillor Balkind added: "As a dog lover I think it's very important that we know where these dogs come from and what worries me terribly about Dogs4Us is the rumours we've heard about them coming from puppy farms, while a lot are sick when they are sold."
The Council report on the planning application to have Dogs 4 Us demolished states that a "new company Agecroft Builders Merchants (ABM) has been formed to operate and manage the site", and there will be twelve jobs created.
The old quarantine block and outside boarding kennels will be demolished, while the existing pet shop area would become a trade counter and the puppy sales building will be converted to use as a bathroom and plumbing showroom.
The Council planning officer's report concludes that "The application proposals therefore represent an important investment in the local economy which is a significant positive impact for the development"...
For full background see previous Salford Star articles - click here and click here