Oxford City Council has reclaimed a flat after 14 animals were rescued from inside.

Last year, it was found that the previous tenant had been using the Headington flat to keep unsupervised animals including 12 dogs, a chameleon and a rabbit.

The Council was made aware of the situation following complaints from neighbours about the smell and concerns for the animals’ wellbeing.

Animals living in squalor with limited access to food and no opportunity for exercise or outdoor access were discovered by the housing and anti-social behaviour team.

Oxford Mail: Inside the flat.Inside the flat. (Image: Oxford City Council)

These rescued animals were taken into the care of the RSPCA for health checks and six of the animals have found new homes.

The tenant vacated the flat earlier this year following an anti-social behaviour investigation.

The Council’s housing team will now deep clean the property before it can be returned to the housing list for new tenants.

Oxford Mail: The dogs inside the flat.The dogs inside the flat. (Image: Oxford City Council)

Councillor Mark Lygo, cabinet member for Inclusive and Safer Communities said: "This operation not only saved numerous animals from severe neglect but has underscored our commitment to community safety.  

“We will continue to work diligently to ensure such situations are addressed promptly and that all community members, including animals, are treated with the care and respect they deserve."

After securing a warrant from magistrates, the Council coordinated a comprehensive rescue operation in collaboration with Thames Valley Police, the RSPCA, ODS, the Tenancy Management Service, and the council's dog warden. 

A criminal investigation into the animals' mistreatment has begun, and the Council is supporting police efforts.