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Man jailed over animal cruelty

A Bishop Auckland man has been jailed after being convicted of animal cruelty.

34-year-old John Watson Harrop appeared in court last month under the Animal Welfare Act for causing unnecessary suffering to horses.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks' imprisonment and banned for 10 years from keeping horses.

The case against Harrop was brought following a joint investigation involving the RSPCA, local police and Durham County Council.

Eight horses belonging to Harrop were found in fields near Newfields, Willington, County Durham, in February last year.

The animals were found to be in a poor state with some suffering infections, rotten teeth and split hooves.

Insp Peace said if Harrop is seen owning, keeping, participating in keeping, transporting or arranging transport for horses once he is released from prison the police need to be informed.

"It is an excellent example of partnership working to tackle this problem.

"It is really good work by the RSPCA."

– Inspector Martin Peace of Bishop Auckland police

Bird cruelty in North Yorkshire

Police are appealing for information following birds being shot at Norton Mills Lake at North Stainley in Ripon.

Canada and Greylag geese and a Mute Swan were all shot through the wings and legs with a rifle leaving them dead or severely injured.

PC Simon Crossley, a Wildlife Crime Officer with North Yorkshire Police said: “This is an utterly barbaric and sickening attack which has caused quite appalling and prolonged suffering.

“I urge anyone who can identify those responsible to contact the police immediately.”

Video: Animal cruelty rises again in the North East

The latest figures from the RSPCA show there has been another rise in the number of animal cruelty cases in the North East over the last year. One of the worst cases in the country involved three Shih Tzu dogs in Northumberland.

The owner kept them in appalling conditions and had allowed their hair to grow so long their fur was matted together, preventing them from walking properly. Caution: You may find some of the pictures in this video upsetting.

Men convicted of animal cruelty

Two men from Ashington men have been convicted of animal cruelty offences.

33-year-old Christopher Hindmarsh, of Links View and 30-year-old Gavin Young, of Pont Street, were arrested in connection with tampering with a badger set in Longhorsley in April of last year.

The two men were charged after a joint investigation with the RSPCA, and they appeared at Bedlington Magistrates Court earlier this month - where they were found guilty of animal cruelty offences.

Hindmarsh was ordered to pay £320 court costs and Young was ordered to pay £338 court costs.

Hindmarsh - banned from keeping animals for three years - had both of his dogs seized by police due to the condition they were being kept with.

A mobile phone belonging to Young was also seized after images of animal cruelty were found on it.


Molly the dog recovering after months of abuse

Molly is settling into her new home Credit: ITV

Molly the dog has found a new home after she was just one of sixteen animals subject to animal cruelty by her former owner.

The dogs and cats that Pauline Kinghorn from Linton Colliery in Northumberland had in her home were so badly affected most of them couldn't walk.

Molly was just one of a number of pets subject to animal cruelty Credit: ITV

Five arrested under suspicion of animal cruelty

Durham Police have arrested five men in Darlington on suspicion of animal cruelty offences.

The arrests came after a joint operation between the police and the RSPCA, where police raided addresses in Darlington.

The men, four aged 18 and one aged 19, are suspected of animal cruelty and have been arrested for offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They are from the Firthmoor area of the town.

“The force is committed to protecting its rural communities and tackling rural crime. Animal welfare is an issue at the heart of those communities and we hope that this morning’s raids reassure people that activities involving animal cruelty will not be tolerated.”

– Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks

The raids took place following reports from the public of dogs being used to hunt and kill wildlife and domestic pets in the Darlington area.

Eight dogs – six lurchers and two Labradors - have been seized, as well as mobile phones, computers and hunting equipment.

"Where we have evidence that offences have taken place we will take action to bring the individuals involved before a court. I hope this sends a message to anyone involved in this kind of deliberate, abhorrent cruelty – we are actively seeking you and the next knock on the door could be us.”

– Chief Inspector Mark Gent, RSPCA