Updated: Thursday, 20th February 2020 @ 12:56pm

'Stop playing God': Dogs’ Home fire boosts Bolton petition calling for tougher sentences on animal cruelty

'Stop playing God': Dogs’ Home fire boosts Bolton petition calling for tougher sentences on animal cruelty

| By Richard Craig

An online petition calling for tougher prison sentencing against acts of animal cruelty is gathering pace in the wake of the fire at Manchester Dogs’ Home.

Elaine McCallion from Bolton created the petition, which currently has more than 13,000 signatures, after youths snatched a Labrador before leaving it to drown it in a canal.

As Mancunians flocked to the petition, the campaign was ‘trending’ on the Government’s e-petition site at its peak.

Ms McCallion aims to ‘raise awareness of all animals in the UK that are subjected to horrific deaths, baiting and acts of cruelty and neglect’ with the campaign.

“People cannot play God and take the lives of our animals. It’s not right. It’s not humane and these crimes need stopping,” she said.

“What we want from the Government is to see tougher prison sentencing for these crimes, a lifetime ban from keeping any animals and increased penalties and to put an end to the unnecessary suffering of our animals.”

Her petition seeks to remedy this and has been signed by hordes of like-minded people after the fire at Manchester Dogs’ Home.

“We have had hundreds of signatures since the horrific fire at Manchester Dogs’ Home,” she said.

“The more signatures we get, the better the chance we have of reaching our target of 100,000.”

If the petition receives 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee.

It has already passed the 10,000 mark, prompting a response from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Department posted the following on the online petition site: “The Government abhors animal cruelty.

“Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for causing unnecessary suffering is a fine of £20,000, six months’ imprisonment, or both.

“In addition, the court can impose post-conviction penalties on anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by disqualifying anyone from having any influence over the keeping of animals for as long as the court see fit.”

“I started this petition when I heard the story of Tilly the Labrador who was stolen,” said Ms McCallion.

“Tilly was stolen by a group of youths who tied a brick around her neck and threw her into a canal, where she drowned.

“There is far too much animal cruelty in the world. We need to raise public awareness for these poor animals.”

The fire at Manchester Dog’s Home has brought animal cruelty into the spotlight and elicited an overwhelming charitable response.

Almost £1.5million has been donated to Manchester Dogs’ Home the fire on September 12.

You can donate to Manchester Dogs’ Home here.

The petition calling for tougher sentencing against acts of animal cruelty can be signed here until March 30 2015 when all petitions will be closed for the dissolution of Parliament ahead of May’s General Election.

Image courtesy of PhotKing with thanks