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Horse rescues double in Midlands amid 'UK horse crisis'

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.

The number of horses being dumped, abandoned or left to starve has almost doubled in the region over the past five years Credit: PA

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.

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Delight as cancer-patient rescue dog finds new home

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.

Cleo has now found a new home Credit: RSPCA

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.

Duke opens Birmingham animal centre

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited Birmingham today to officially open the RSPCA's new flagship animal centre and hospital.

The Duke of Gloucester makes a furry friend Credit: Joe Murphy/RSPCA

Prince Richard was joined by staff and volunteers at the opening of the site in Frankley.

The Duke of Gloucester opens the new RSPCA animal centre in Birmingham Credit: Joe Murphy/RSPCA

The Duke was then given a tour of the centre and met some of the animals whose home it has become.

The Duke of Gloucester being shown round the new RSPCA centre Credit: Joe Murphy/RSPCA

Duke of Gloucester to open new RSPCA Animal Centre

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester is expected to visit Birmingham today to open the new flagship RSPCA Animal Centre and Hospital.

The new RSPCA Animal Centre and Hospital in Frankley Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

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.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester will visit Birmingham today Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier at the RSPCA Animal Centre and Hospital Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

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RSPCA reveal severity of animal violence

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
  • Assault
  • Death threats

RSPCA inspectors deal with 'barbaric cruelty'

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.

– Chris Packham, TV presenter and wildlife expert

RSPCA inspectors assaulted or threatened 246 times

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.

The horrific attacks include several cats shot in the face and whose eyes had to be removed and others who did not survive after being shot.

Read more: RSPCA launching campaign for 'everyday heroes'

Read more: Lamb has ears cut off in Notts

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