POLICE were forced to break up a large gathering outside a house in Hereford after a photo of dogs being kept in a back garden was shared widely on social media.

Hamnish-based Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue said it had been “absolutely inundated” with calls after the picture, which showed two dogs in the snow, one sitting on top of a kennel and one inside the kennel, was shared on Facebook, with the poster claiming the dogs were kept outside for 24 hours a day.

West Mercia Police were called to the property in Hereford after a large crowd gathered outside the house, with people potentially in breach of England’s lockdown laws.


Sergeant Nicolas Green said police went to the scene last Thursday evening “after a number of people had raised concerns for the welfare of two dogs”.

“We spoke to both the owners and the individuals concerned for the pets’ welfare, and have made the RSPCA aware,” he said.

A police spokesperson said a “large crowd” was “later dispersed”.

“Officers have also attended the local area several times and spoken to local people and the owners of the dogs and are satisfied at this time there is no further investigation required,” they said.

The Hereford Times has approached the owners of the dogs, but they have declined to comment so far.

Members of the public have shared their concerns with the RSPCA, but a spokesperson for the animal charity said no law is being broken.

The charity said: “Unfortunately, it is not illegal to keep a dog outside as long as their needs are being met.

"This can be frustrating for us too, but it means that even if conditions are not ideal, if there is no law being broken then I’m afraid there is nothing we can do.”

The RSPCA website said dogs kept outside must have certain essentials.