SUPPORTERS of an animal sanctuary which was filmed by animal rights activists have flocked to defend it.

Yesterday the Advertiser reported that the Swindon And District Animal Haven in Wootton Bassett had been videoed by Gloucestershire Animal Action and the Western Animal Rights' Network.

The activists claimed that animals go without food and water and are kept in unsanitary conditions.

Yesterday John Warwick, the haven's owner, hit back and said that the video, while seeming unflattering on the surface, was "cobblers."

He said that editing had left an unfavourable impression, and that all the animals in his care were well-looked after.

Many Adver readers say that the centre is a godsend to abandoned animals.

Donna Folukes, from Pinehurst, has taken on three rabbits and three cats from the haven.

"It is such a shame that people are blinkered with the way they think it should be," said the 27-year-old.

"I find it a shame that people can be so judgemental.

"If they had all the money in the world, then it would be beautiful, but it takes a lot of money to have it like that."

Caroline Iles, 47, from Toothill, says family dog, Honey, came from the haven and still remembers John fondly.

"All the animals adore John," she said.

"He works so hard for them. He is brilliant. There isn't a bad bone in his body. Without him we wouldn't have our pets. He goes out of his way to help.

"John will take any animal. He won't see them put down. I've known him travel through the night to pick up a hurt animal.

"They aren't many sanctuaries which will do that."

Maxine Blackmore and her family visited last year.

"We had been looking for a dog for a while so we went up to John's place and picked Neo," said the mum from Cricklade Road, in Swindon.

"It was important to me to have a dog that was house-trained and good with young children.

"Which is just what we got - we also got a rabbit because we were so impressed with what he was doing.

"I have been up there a number of times and I know that it can be dirty, muddy and sometimes it can be messy up there.

"And sometimes John can be a little difficult too. But at the heart of things John and his staff are 100 per cent caring for the animals.

"I have nothing but praise for the man and the work that he does."

Amanda Chivers, of Wootton Bassett, said both her family pets, a dog named Frodo and a cat named Meg, had come from the sanctuary.

"They are fabulous pets and are really healthy. The conditions are a bit messy, but he has no funding.

"If it wasn't for John there would be a lot of dead animals."

Pam Ball, of Oxford Road, said: "John is a nice bloke and those animals are well looked after. He gives his whole life for them.

"Why don't those people from Gloucester just shut their gobs and help with their hands?"

Nicola Bond, of Grange Park, said: "I've got four rabbits from the haven and been up there to help clean out the animals several times.

"It's so unfair what the animal protesters have done. It is messy but it's not a bad place.

"All my rabbits have been healthy and John will always keep in touch to make sure they are okay."