Customer complaint sees lovable puppy stuck out the back

Bertie the Spaniel
Bertie the Spaniel
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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HE’S man’s best friend but Bertie the spaniel has been put in the dog house.

The puppy belongs to Andrew Gadsden and is often seen at Andrew’s tea warehouse, All About Tea.

But after a customer complained about Bertie to Portsmouth City Council, the dog is no longer allowed in the shop section of the warehouse, on Middle Street, Southsea.

He now spends his days in the upstairs offices away from the tea and the customers who love to see him.

Andrew said: ‘Bertie is my pet but everyone in the shop looks after him and the customers have taken him into their hearts.

‘He is quite well-known by our customers and they are always asking to see him – he’s much loved.

‘Bertie has been with us since August and no-one has had an issue or complained to me about him being around.

‘But I understand that not everyone likes dogs so before I let him out I do ask people if they mind.’

So it came as a surprise to Andrew when he found out a customer had complained to environmental health at Portsmouth City Council.

An officer came to visit the warehouse and they have worked with Andrew to find a solution to the problem.

Andrew added: ‘When the officer from environmental health came out to see us, they were very nice and practical.

‘They were, after all, just doing their job and they have suggested a number of ways we can keep Bertie in the shop so customers can see him but he isn’t affecting the tea that is heat-sealed in foil.

‘It’s just annoyed me that the customer went straight to the council and didn’t have the grace or guts to come to me.’

The law states that dogs aren’t allowed in areas were food is being prepared or stored and the tea packs are seen as stored food.

Customer Alexandra Packer said: ‘Sorry to hear this. How ridiculous. Poor doggy. Why is there always someone out there ready to ruin other people’s fun? Miserable people.’

The council’s environment health manager, Richard Lee, said: ‘We received a complaint, made a visit and talked to the proprietor about the dog being in the store. The matter has been amicably resolved.’