How the 'horse crisis' has affected the Midlands:
A 'horse crisis' has gripped the UK, with the number of neglected animals being rescued almost doubling over past five years in the Midlands alone, according to the RSPCA.
Falling horse prices combined with rising feed and care costs have led to hundreds of horses have been abandoned, dumped or found starving across the region.
In 2009, the animal charity rescued 145 horses in the Midlands - by last year, this number had risen to 280.
And in Shropshire alone, the number of rescues has soared from four five years ago to 36 in 2013 - a rise of 800 per cent.
An RSPCA rescue dog who was diagnosed with cancer has finally be rehomed after months of being left on the shelf.
Eight-year-old Cleo was taken into the RSPCA Derby and District Branch, where a routine vet check discovered she had a number of mammory tumours which were likely to be cancerous, and would need an operation in future.
Volunteer Leanne Manchester said rehoming animals is tough enough in the current climate, without new owners having to worry about medical bills on top of the cost of keeping a pet.
Staff launched an appeal for a new family willing to take her on - and, after a Facebook appeal was shared dozens of times, it reached a woman living on the Isle of Man.
Anita Williams has taken in several terminally ill animals in the past and offered Cleo the chance to join them.
Ms Manchester said everyone at the branch was overjoyed they had managed to find her a home.
We are just delighted that Cleo has found a loving new home after all the stress she has had.
We don’t know how long she has left – months or hopefully years – but we do know they are going to be filled with happiness and love.
We just hope that Cleo’s story will encourage more people to adopt dogs from the RSPCA as we have so many with sad background stories like Cleo.
Concern grows about horses on a flooded Leicester field after two die. RSPCA say they are "in touch with the owner".Read the full story ›
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited Birmingham today to officially open the RSPCA's new flagship animal centre and hospital.
Prince Richard was joined by staff and volunteers at the opening of the site in Frankley.
The Duke was then given a tour of the centre and met some of the animals whose home it has become.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester is expected to visit Birmingham today to open the new flagship RSPCA Animal Centre and Hospital.
Prince Richard will join RSPCA staff and volunteers and the charity's chief executive, Gavin Grant, at the official opening at around 11 o'clock this morning.
The Duke will then be given a tour of the site before speaking with staff and volunteers.
The new centre at Newbrook Farm in Frankley has been in use since the end of 2012 and is the RSPCA's national centre of excellence for animal welfare.
See some of the animals rescued by the RSPCA after being cruelly attacked. This article contains images of animals at the point of rescue.Read the full story ›
Ahead of the launch of their new campaign to highlight the dangers animals and those trying to protect them face, the RSPCA have released some examples of the cases and violence faced by RSPCA inspectors over the past two years.
Cases of animals suffering brutal attacks included:
- A dog beaten with a pole, causing 30 fractures
- A swan shot with a crossbow
- A cat beaten against a tree
- A three-week-old lamb with its ears cut off
- A lurcher stamped on, run over and stabbed with a potato peeler
- A bird shot with a blowgun dart through his eye
- A mouse tortured with a power tool
Staff investigating violence on animals were threatened with:
- A claw hammer
- A knife
- A crossbow
- A shotgun
- A machete
- Death threats
- Read more: RSPCA's anti-cruelty heroes
I take my hat off to RSPCA Inspectors, I wouldn't want to go into the situations they do and deal with people who have inflicted such barbaric cruelty on defenceless animals - that takes real courage and professionalism.
Sadly dealing with the most stomach-churning suffering is everyday work to these men and women. I dread to think what would happen if they weren't there to help.
These everyday heroes can only help thanks to donations from the public.
The RSPCA say that in 2012 alone inspectors were assaulted or threatened 246 times. The new ‘everyday heroes’ campaign hopes to highlight this growing problem and help both animals and those trying to protect them from suffering violence.
RSPCA figures from last year also showed that air rifle injuries on animals had increased by almost 40 per cent to almost 800 attacks reported to the charity in 2012.