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Nine horses and two dogs seized at 'quieter' Appleby Horse Fair

Credit: RSPCA

Animal welfare charity, RSPCA, say this year's Appleby Horse Fair was 'friendly' and 'quieter' than previous ones.

Although the RSPCA dealt with fewer animal welfare issues than last year, two dogs had to be removed from the back of an enclosed pick-up truck on the Friday afternoon.

The charity say 12 warnings were given out, and 168 people received animal welfare advice.

We have two ongoing investigations, and nine horses and two dogs were taken away from the fair, which are now in the care of either the RSPCA or our partner charities.

Thanks to the member of the public who reported the dogs and the speed at which Cumbria Constabulary were able to get them out of the vehicle, with assistance from us, the dogs did not suffer.

– RSPCA chief inspector Melloy

33 RSPCA officers were on hand at the fair, which took place from Thursday 8 June to Monday 12 June.

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Animal cruelty cases increase in Cumbria

Charlie the lurcher. Credit: RSPCA

The number of animal cruelty complaints investigated by the RSPCA in Cumbria increased by 151 last year, compared to 2015.

New figures have revealed the number of complaints across the entire north of England rose by more than five per cent in 2016.

Cases in Cumbria included one in which a Lurcher dog came into RSPCA care in Whitehaven, in such an emaciated state that he was described by the inspector as the "skinniest dog (he’d) ever seen alive".

The person who said she had found him turned out to be his owner.

It never fails to shock me when I look back on the extreme instances of animal cruelty the RSPCA has been called upon to investigate.

It continues to outrage and sadden me that people can be capable of such deliberate brutality towards animals, but equally it drives me on to ensure that perpetrators of animal cruelty are put before the courts.

I believe that the figures from last year show that we’re not becoming crueler, but that people are simply less willing to stand by and do nothing if they think an animal is suffering.

– Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of the RSPCA Inspectorate

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WATCH: Owner speaks out about 'horror attack' on her horse

Skye, an eight-year-old Clydesdale mare, was impaled with a two-foot stake while in a paddock in the Whicham Valley in south Cumbria.

She's now recovering from surgery at a vets in Penrith and Tim Backshall has been along to meet Skye and her owner Annie Rose.

Anyone with information about the attack should contact Cumbria Police on 101 or the RSPCA's cruelty hotline on 0300 1234999.

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