A rescue dog who had her leg amputated after being battered by children has become a surrogate mum to a litter of kittens.
Meg, a cross-breed rescued by Rochdale’s RSPCA centre as a puppy back in 2008, turned doggy detective when she helped staff to find five young cats in the ceiling of the animal centre on Redcross Street.
Jean Spencer, centre manager, who adopted Meg after the ordeal, often takes the dog to work with her.
Late last Wednesday evening, Jean noticed Meg was looking up at the animal centre roof and whimpering as if to indicate something was amiss.
Knowing Meg was trying to tell her something, Jean started to investigate, and several hours later, after she and helpers made a huge hole in the building’s plasterboard ceiling, the five kittens were located and brought to safety.
“It was a really unusual rescue,” said Jean, 51. “I know Meg and she was obviously worried about something in the ceiling so I thought I’d better have a look and it was a good thing I did.
“There was only a space in the ceiling cavity of about eight inches, so we had to make a big hole in the ceiling and work through the night to get them out.
“We think the kittens’ mum must have sneaked in through the roof to have them.”
– Jean Spencer, centre manager RSPCA Rochdale
Jean believes the centre is also caring for the kittens’ mum, as a female cat who has recently given birth was recently found in a cat trap left outside the centre to catch a different feline.
But the suspected mum will not look after the babies, so centre staff and volunteers are working around the clock to feed them, with a little help from Meg.
“Meg is really fond of the kittens,” added Jean. “She is really kind and gentle with them and is always licking them, it is very sweet to see.”
Despite losing a leg, she has thrived under Jean’s care and is a friendly face to visitors to the centre.
Staff and volunteers are now facing an uphill battle to care for the kittens at the centre, which is so busy some gerbil enclosures are having to be used for cats.
A man from Barrow in Furness has been given an 80 day prison sentence and been banned from keeping animals for 7 years after being caught on camera beating a puppy.
"Shocking" footage filmed by a neighbour shows Dudley a young Staffordshire bull terrier being repeatedly picked up and thrown across a garden, bounced off a concreted step and having his head trapped in a door.
23 year old Liam Backhouse from Rising Side pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the puppy by the infliction of physical and mental abuse, blunt force trauma and rough handling.
District judge Gerald Chalk ordered that the Staffordshire bull terrier and a snake owned by Backhouse be seized.
Passing sentence, he told Backhouse: 'The choice to keep a pet is a matter that is entirely voluntary but, once you choose, there are obligations towards the animal and they are obvious when it’s a very young animal
'This is a small puppy that was defenceless. You have shown total disrespect for this animal and have terrorised it.'
The puppy originally called Titan has been renamed Dudley has been in foster care with the RSPCA and has found a new loving home.