Dog left to die in Leigh field just one in ‘shocking catalogue of deliberate cruelty’ to animals revealed by RSPCA

By Glen Keogh

A dog slashed with a knife by his owner, two puppies buried alive and a Staffordshire bull terrier whose bones were visible when she was dumped in a Leigh field are just three incidents dealt with by the RSPCA in the last year.

This ‘shocking catalogue of deliberate cruelty and neglect’ was revealed after the news that convictions for animal neglect and cruelty have risen by a third in England and Wales.

As it is possible for an individual to get more than one conviction, the RSPCA points out that there was a 15% rise in the number of defendants convicted – leading to 4,148 convictions.

RSPCA Chief Executive Gavin Grant said his staff were struggling to keep up in their fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis.

“Our inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases and issued 78,090 advice notices last year – these are extremely effective in improving the care of animals,” he said.

“However if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse.

“We also want to see judges taking these offences far more seriously.”

Brooke, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was just half her ideal weight when she was found by a member of the public in a field in Leigh – with her bones clearly visible.

She was so weak that she could barely stand, her white coat was sticky and smelly and her claws were overgrown.

It was only with the help of the RSPCA who gave her intense veterinary treatment that she survived and has now been rehomed.

RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald said: “It is only luck that Brooke survived. She was in a shocking state when she was discovered and the fact that she’s survived is testament to all of the people who have cared for her since then.”

A few weeks later, another Staffordshire bull terrier called Chubbs was also found dumped in a nearby playing field wrapped in a sheet and plastic sack.

He was so emaciated he died before help arrived – but the owners escaped jail.

Cassie George, 21, and husband Paul Hilton, 30, of Leigh, Wigan, were given suspended prison sentences and banned from keeping animals for life after admitting causing a rabbit and two dogs to suffer.

George pleaded guilty to nine charges under the Animal Welfare Act and Hilton to four at Wigan Magistrates’ Court last September.

The shocking information regarding incidents of cruelty has been released by the RSPCA as part of RSPCA week 2013, which runs from April 29 to May 5 and raised £395,000 last year.

Their report says inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases in England and Wales last year, issuing 78,090 advice notices.

Picture courtesy of RSPCA, with thanks.

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