A criminal investigation has been launched after dogs were found in a state of alleged neglect at an animal sanctuary.

A warrant was executed on August 15 at Lost Souls, an animal sanctuary in Rogiet, Monmouthshire, after complaints were made about the business which included evidence of alleged neglect.

At the sanctuary a "significant number of dogs were found to be suffering", according to council officers.

News of the raid has been circulating on social media with sanctuary volunteers describing "the most horrific last few days". There are claims of dogs being taken away and that some animals died.

Monmouthshire Council said that threats had made to individual officers and that"all incidents have been and will be reported to the police".

A Monmouthshire County Council spokesperson said: “On Tuesday, August 15, an entry warrant was lawfully executed at a premises known as Lost Souls Sanctuary in Monmouthshire.

"A warrant was authorised by the courts under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 following numerous complaints, evidence of neglect and prolonged attempts to work with the owner.

“Officers from Animal Licensing Wales were supported by police officers at the property, where a significant number of dogs were found to be suffering and were taken into possession following expert veterinary advice.

“A criminal investigation is now under way and further information will be provided when it is appropriate to do so.

“There have been some inaccurate and damaging posts circulating on social media platforms that have led to targeted hate messages and threats to individual officers. All incidents have been and will be reported to the police.”

However, a person, who wished to stay anonymous, claimed to the Argus that 11 dogs died at the scene and a further 62 were seized. They said sanctuary owner did "amazing work for dogs that would typically be put to sleep".

On social media, angry and upset users have claimed spoken out over the council action.

Facebook user Clare Davies posted a message on behalf of the sanctuary owner.

It said: “I'm sorry I haven't posted anything, it has been the most horrific last few days.

“I cannot believe the amount of support I have been given, not only in the UK but overseas as well. It has been such a comfort. Thank you all so much."

The message described hearing her dogs screaming in fear, being taken by force and said that some of the dogs had died. 

The post said it was "beyond anything anyone should have to endure".

It continued: “The rest of the dogs taken by strangers, put in crates in vans and taken away from the home they know, and love was heartrending.

“How do I feel? As if my heart has been ripped out.

“The sanctuary is usually full of the sound of dogs playing and barking.

“Now there is just silence.”

It was signed in the name of the sanctuary owner. 

A JustGiving page has now been set up to "bring the dogs back home".

The RSPCA and Gwent Police both confirmed the raid was led by the local authority. There have been no confirmed arrests.

A spokesperson for Gwent Police said: "We attended a warrant under the Animal Welfare Act in Minnett’s Lane, Rogiet, on Tuesday, August 15, in support of partner agencies who were carrying out enquiries at an address."

Animal Welfare Wales has been contacted for comment.

The Argus has not at this stage been able to verify whether any dogs died in the raid.