A DOGGY day care centre in the middle of a social media storm over alleged animal welfare breaches has had its licence suspended.

Hyndburn Borough Council says it has suspended Rishton-based Mucky Pups Doggy Day Care's animal activity licence "following the release in the press and on social media of videos from a former employee raising dog welfare concerns".

This means that Mucky Pups cannot provide animal care until the council has carried out an investigation into the alleged breaches of animal welfare.

Last month the Lancashire Telegraph exclusively revealed the RSPCA was looking into footage on social media appearing to show a man hitting and smacking several dogs, while they were supposed to be under his care at Mucky Pups.

One video appears to show the man picking a dog up by the scruff of its neck, beating it and throwing it across the floor, while the dog can be heard whimpering and crying.

In another, the man appears to hit one dog with a broom, while another video shows him physically smacking a dog with his hand so hard that the connection can be heard on the footage.

Former apprentice Chelsea Devine, who filmed the incidents between September and December, said she was left heartbroken as working with dogs was her dream job, and reported the behaviour to the RSPCA.

Now the council has confirmed it has launched its own investigation.

Councillor Loraine Cox, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said; “We’ve been contacted with concerns about dog welfare and care at the facility and, having reviewed the evidence and liaised with the RSPCA, we have taken the decision to suspend Mucky Pups' Animal Activity Licence whilst we carry out our own investigation.”

READ > Warning - distressing footage: Videos show man 'slapping' and 'beating' dogs at Mucky Pups doggy day care centre in Rishton

A statement issued on Mucky Pups Facebook page last month read: "We are currently aware of the videos circulating Facebook, they are distressing but aren’t the full story, the man in the video has been bitten in one of the videos because he has had to intervene to stop any harm coming to the other dog.

"These videos were captured by an ex-apprentice who’s gone to the newspapers first before informing me, the RSPCA or her colleague.

" The police aren’t taking it further due to the circumstances the man was in, the girl was sat there videoing instead of helping.

"No dogs were hurt or had gone home injured.

"Legal action is in place and we will get our name cleared.

"We thank you to all our loyal customers who have contacted our business first to verify the facts.

"If anyone needs any more information I would be happy to provide this.

"Lauren Walker - Managing Director."

That post was later removed, and the Mucky Pups Facebook page has since been taken down.

When the Telegraph spoke to Ms Walker, she said: "I've been in touch with my solicitor and until I have spoken properly with them I cannot comment further."