A pet sitter and dog trainer has denied mounting allegations and criticism from animal activists that he could be abusing dogs under his care.
On 22nd November, police and animal welfare officers arrived at Żabbar following reports of animal cruelty emanating from a household in the area. That residence belongs to Leigh Bishop, a popular self-proclaimed dog trainer who boards dogs for a number of weeks in an attempt to train and domesticate them.
According to the Police, Animal Welfare conducted an investigation and inspected the household which resulted in “nothing irregular and no signs of abuse on the dogs”. Thus, the investigation was dropped.
It is worth noting that Animal Welfare has a notorious track record of failing to follow through on animal abuse reports. Such was the case with Andre Galea, a backyard breeder who was brought to Animal Welfare and Police’s attention over a year before two of his dogs attacked and killed his grandmother. Galea was given a clean bill of health by authorities on several occasions and has yet to be charged.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Animal Rights Ministry for a breakdown on how Animal Welfare carries out inspections, but questions continue to remain unanswered more than a week later.
Despite finding no circumstantial evidence of animal abuse, sources are still alleging that dogs at Bishop’s boarding facility are being mistreated. Bishop has denied all wrongdoing.
The video has been blurred to protect the identity of those involved.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, well-informed sources noted they had to brook such acts periodically.
During one episode, nearby residents could feel their house shake after what they claimed was an episode in which Bishop was kicking dogs.
Another case involved a fourth-month old Labrador who had allegedly been mistreated by Bishop to the point that it was on the “brink of death” and required medical attention.
According to the dog owner, the puppy had been drowned in citronella, was infected with bug bites and had giardiasis – a diarrheal disease that feeds off of an organism to survive.
Animal activists have also warned dog owners to stay away from “a pet sitter/dog trainer” in Żabbar following reports of animal abuse.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Bishop denied all allegations, noting how an investigation carried out by Animal Welfare resulted in no evidence being found.
“Animal welfare visited, found everything in order as always, dogs happy, in great condition, with no signs of alleged animal cruelty,” he told Lovin Malta.
Lovin Malta has also been informed that a dog passed away whilst under his care.
The case also brings to light the legitimacy of boarding facilities in Malta. Bishop, who offers a boarding facility with dogs staying overnight, is unlicensed under Maltese legislation.
Lovin Malta has also reached out to the Animal Rights Ministry with regards to this but questions still remain unanswered despite multiple efforts to establish a line of communication.
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