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Red Setter found in 'cruelest of conditions' set to become Christmas internet star

A dog from Horsham in Sussex is fast becoming an internet star. Bridie the Red Setter's Christmas video with the RSPCA has already been watched around 200,000 times - yet 18 months ago she was discovered in the cruelest of conditions.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to RSPCA chief scientific officer Julia Wrathall.


£8,000 fine for man's "brutal" attack on swans

David Thompson pictured before an attack on a swan Credit: MCA

A Kent man has been fined £7,970 after carrying out a 'brutal' attack on swans.

David Thompson of Snarsgate, Romney Marsh, appeared at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court facing allegations of intentionally killing and/or injuring mute swans, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

He previously pleaded guilty to the offences.

The RSPCA and the police were called on 23 April after a coastguard helicopter crew flying near Lydd airport on a training exercise reported seeing the man hit several swans repeatedly with a “long blue pole”. They managed to capture part of the attack on video.

Officers attended the scene and found two injured swans and one dead - all with blood around their heads. The second swan died before arriving at the vets, but the third was treated and cared for at the RSPCA’s Mallydams Wildlife Centre, and eventually made a good recovery.

The swans were in his field of rapeseed and the man’s reason for killing them was that they were eating his crops.

There is no doubt these poor swans would have suffered - they were bashed about the head brutally and repeatedly. It would not have been a quick death.

The witnesses said they saw the man hit several swans with a long blue stick. They also saw him strike another swan, yanking him by the neck several times, and throwing the bird forward twice before lifting him by the left wing and dumping him in a ditch.

When we arrived one of the swans was already dead, and a second barely alive - just raising his head weakly. It was so sad. Thankfully there was a happy ending for a third swan, who was treated by a vet and nursed back to health.

– RSPCA Inspector Dave Grant

Five puppies found dumped in a cage

The puppies were found abandoned in a cage in Chipping Norton Credit: RSPCA

Five puppies have been dumped in a cage in Oxfordshire. The animals, were eight weeks old and four have now died.

The only surviving puppy has been named Barney Credit: RSPCA

They were discovered abandoned in the middle of a field in Idbury in Chipping Norton. by a dog walker. They had no food or water.

The surviving puppy has been named Barney and is being cared for by the RSPCA.

Tabby cat Slim Shady is shot in the back

Slim Shady is making a good recovery Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is asking for help from the public after a cat was shot in the back at Eastleigh in Hampshire. The owner thinks someone objected to Slim Shady being in a garden.

Slim Shady was found at her home in Kipling Road on the evening of Tuesday, 4 October with blood on her back

The three-year-old was taken straight to the vet whose X-ray revealed that there was a 1.71 calibre pellet, probably from an air pistol, lodged next to her spine and an enlarged kidney. She has now had an operation and is set to make a full recovery.

RSPCA inspector Penny Baker said: “Slim Shady was lucky to survive - the shot missed her spine by mere millimetres. This bullet went into her back, and then grazed her kidney. Whoever shot her must have done so deliberately - taking aim.

Owner Dawn Morgan, 33, said: "We didn't realise what had happened at first to our Slim Shady. She had blood coming from the wound on her back, but it didn't occur to me that she had been shot until the X-ray showed the pellet and the enlarged kidney."



Ocean-going bird makes a long-haul flight too far

An unusual visitor has appeared in Sussex

It would be more at home in the Caribbean, but a huge seabird has been found washed up on the Sussex coast.

It's the first time a Red-footed Booby has ever been seen in this country.

The bird was on its last legs when an animal lover came to its rescue.

Now, the Booby is being nursed back to health, ready to be flown thousands of miles home.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Richard Thompson of RSPCA Mallydams Wood, and Gail Cohen who found the bird.

Sparky's reunion: cat trapped in van engine for 60 miles

Sparky is on the mend after his ordeal stuck in the engine of a van as it travelled 60 miles cross country

A cat which survived a sixty-mile journey trapped in the engine compartment of a van has been reunited with his family.

Sparky travelled from Tottenham in north London to Reading in Berkshire before being rescued, and has made a full recovery from his ordeal. Richard Jones has our report.

The interviewees are Helena Peace from the RSPCA; and Gemma Davis, Sparky's owner.

Sparky is back with his family

'Sparky' survives trip, trapped behind van engine

Sparky was coaxed out of the engine compartment Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA wants to reunite a cat with his owner. The animal was found trapped behind the engine of a removal van.

The ginger tabby cat, nicknamed 'Sparky', was coaxed out of the engine of a van in Reading, Berks, after he is thought to have travelled 60 miles inside the vehicle.

The cat, nicknamed Sparky, was miraculously unscathed by his ordeal and the RSPCA ishoping to reunite him with his owners - who could come from around White Hart Lane area in Tottenham, where the van started the journey.

Darren was shocked when he spotted the cat Credit: RSPCA

Passer-by Darren Sumner managed to coax Sparky out of the van after he spotted the vehicle broken down in London Road, Reading on Sunday.

He said: “I was shocked when I saw the cat. He was sitting behind the heater matrix, I felt his paws and they were boiling hot. He was warm and scared so I sat and stroked him for about 30 minutes until I coaxed him out.'

Darren took the cat home, gave him some food and water and kept him overnight, until an RSPCA officer arrived to collect him.

Darren said: “He’s a lovely cat. He used a litter tray so I think he’s probably someone’s pet. He woke me up at about 3am in the morning for a play. I hope his owners can be found.”

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