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'Hundreds of animals dumped like rubbish' warns RSPCA

RSPCA staff and volunteers say they have seen an alarming increase in the number of animals being abandoned across Wales.

In Wales alone the charity has been called out to deal with 2,427 reports of abandoned animals this year.

It's expected this number will increase dramatically as pet owners go away for Christmas or spend money on presents instead of vet bills.

These kittens were abandoned in Grangetown, Cardiff Credit: RSPCA

One case of animals being ‘thrown away’ was when two puppies were dumped in a box in Flintshire at only three-weeks old.

It's believed the white and black Staffie cross pups died after being dumped in a box on an embankment near the McDonalds restaurant on St Asaph Road.

“The shocking fact is that even in a nation of animal lovers, there are thousands of people out there who don’t care about their pets at all. In fact, some literally treat them like rubbish."

“It’s bad enough when we find a box of kittens wrapped in blankets on our doorstep with a note, but now people are deliberately dumping their animals in out of the way places - like bins, skips or on waste ground - and leaving them to die.”

– Martyn Hubbard, RSPCA Wales

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Brecon Beacons flights reveal eagle's 'secret weapon'

Steppe eagles have a wingspan of around 2m. Credit: Heiko Wolfraum/DPA/PA Images

An eagle fitted with its own "black box" flight recorder, flying over the Brecon Beacons, has revealed the soaring bird's secret weapon against turbulence.

By rapidly collapsing its wings when encountering strong gusts of wind, the captive steppe eagle named Cossack was able to stay aloft in conditions that would have grounded fixed-wing aircraft.

Scientists believe other soarers including different eagle species, vultures and kites are likely to employ the same technique.

Cossack was sent on 45 experimental flights wearing a miniature rucksack packed with scientific instruments.

The 75g "black box", which did not interfere with flying, both tracked his position with GPS and recorded measurements of acceleration, rotation rate and airspeed.

Soaring flight may appear effortless but it isn't a free ride. Soaring may enable a bird to travel long distances but it also puts an enormous strain on its flight muscles.

The nature of rising air masses, such as thermals, is that they create lots of turbulence and buffeting that jolts a bird's wings and could knock it out of the sky.

Our evidence suggests that wing-tucking is a direct response to a substantial loss of lift that occurs when a bird flies through a pocket of atmospheric turbulence.

– Prof. Graham Taylor Oxford University

The research is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

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Five supermodel pooches in need of a new home

Dogs Trust in Bridgend is trying to find homes for five unusual Borzoi puppies, who have all been named after famous supermodels.

Their Russian breed is known for its beauty, and their arrival at the dogs home last week coincided with Paris Fashion Week.

The nine-month-old puppies have now been nicknamed Claud Sniffer, Cindy Pawford, Rosie Huntingdog Whiteley, Suki Waterhound and Derek Zoolurcher.

The five Borzoi puppies were handed in after their owner could no longer care for them. Credit: Bridgend Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust cares for 17,000 dogs around the UK - but has only taken in two Borzoi in the last seven years.

I have never seen a Borzoi handed in before and now we have five.

Borzoi were bred to hunt wolves in the Russian wilderness. They are stunning dogs but we are keen that people do not take them on based on looks alone, they are not the average dog and need specialist handing by an experienced, patient owner.

Borzoi are very gentle natured but highly intelligent, sensitive dogs which are naturally reserved but in the right homes with experienced, patient handling they will make rewarding, loving, loyal pets.

We know the right owners are out there somewhere and look forward to seeing them find the loving homes for life which they deserve.

– Beverley Price, Dogs Trust Bridgend Rehoming Centre Manager

You can contact Dogs Trust Bridgend on 01656 725 219 - or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk

Welsh Government 'committed' to promoting responsible pet ownership

Credit: ITV News

The Welsh Government says it's committed to improving the standards of animal health and welfare through promoting responsible pet ownership.

The North Clwyd Animal Centre at Trelogan says it is facing a crisis because of the number of unwanted kittens being brought in.

We are committed to improving the standards of animal health and welfare through promoting responsible pet ownership.

Our Animal Health and Welfare Framework, launched by the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food earlier this year, offers us the opportunity to introduce lasting improvements in health and welfare standards for all animals in Wales.

– Welsh Government spokesperson
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