A pensioner has been blackmailed with cruel phone calls threatening to cut up her beloved dog unless she pays hundreds of pounds.
Vivienne Garton began to receive the vile messages after he West Highland Terrier Ben disappeared from her garden on April 12.
The worried 65-year-old put up posters over her home of Knowle, appealing for her pooch's return.
But one of the numbers was called twice by an anonymous 'middle-aged man' who threatened to harm the family pet unless Vivienne pays £500.
He left an address of an empty house in Bristol, which frail Vivienne has now handed over to police.
Ben is ten years old, partially sighted, partially deaf, and struggles to walk for long distances.
Avon and Somerset police have confirmed they are now investigating an incident of blackmail. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
Researchers at the University of Bristol are trying to find out why some dogs chase their tails or spin in circles and why some don't.
The School of Veterinary Science wants to sign up dogs that don't exhibit this behaviour for its study.
It has already recruited enough "spinning dogs" and now needs those that don't as a comparison.
For more information and to find out how to enrol in the study, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A dog has been rescued by firefighters in Bristol after it fell into an icy pond.
The springer spaniel was unable to get to safety after falling into the frozen pond at Eastwood Farm nature reserve in Broomhill.
The owner of two and a half year-old Milo called 999. He slipped through the ice and was in the water for around 25 minutes before he managed to climb up onto an island in the middle of the pond.
When firefighters arrived they used an inflatable walkway to reach the island. They were able to get a lead on to the dog and walked him back to safety. He was unhurt - just cold and wet.
Street artists have joined a campaign to make people think again about buying dogs for Christmas. A mural of a puppy wrapped up as a present has gone up in North Street in Bristol, reminding people of the slogan that a dog is for life not just for Christmas. The Dogs Trust is hoping to put buyers off and released reasons why owners have given up their pets:.
- "He kept chasing frogs”
- “He looked different after we walked him in the rain”
- "He was too loving and needed too much attention"
- “I’m worried our toddler will copy him and poo in the garden”
- "He’s too playful - we haven’t sat down since we got him"
- “My dog is old and going to die soon”
- "He was scared of the cat next door”
- "He barks every morning”
- “He wags his tail too much”
- "She’s seems hungry all the time and follows me around the house"
- “He kept coughing in the night and woke me up”
- “All the puppy did was sleep. We wanted a dog we could play with”
Claire Joselin from the Dogs Trust was in Bristol today to bring the message home.
Meet Lola and Sherman, the furry friends from the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset.
The adorable pair have become depressed, and are now in urgent need of a new home.
As an incentive to any would-be owner, the sanctuary will cover all vet costs, jabs, worming and flea treatments for the rest of the dogs’ lives. They will transport Lola and Sherman to their new home anywhere in the country, and throw in collars, leads, beds, bowls, toys, and a six-month supply of food.
It was apparently love at first sight for the doggy duo:
They now need a place where they can be together for the rest of their lives. Both dogs are very friendly, gentle and happy to live with children age 10 years old or over. The sanctuary says they would be more suited to a rural home with space to play. They are house-trained, not destructive and fine travelling in a car.
For further details call the animal care team at Ferne Animal Sanctuary on 01460 65214, or visit their website.
A dog left for dead at the side of a road in Gloucester after being used for badger baiting has made what vets are calling a 'miracle recovery'. The terrier was blind with third degree burns when she was rescued. This report contains images you may find distressing.
Joint patrols between Police and City Council staff are being launched to combat the problem of dog fouling in Gloucester.
The ‘get tough’ campaign is will focus on known hotspots.
It follows an ‘awareness raising’ week in Barton and Tredworth, which has one of the highest levels of complaints.
Government plans to microchip all dogs won't help stop attacks on children, according to critics. One Wiltshire MP says the proposals will hit middle class pet owners and fail to deter yobs from using dogs as weapons.
It's a view shared by a mother from Dorset, whose 3-year-old daughter was attacked by a dog nine months ago.
Daisy Gray's report contains some upsetting images
Researchers at Bath Spa University have found that dog owners pick breeds that reflect their personalities.
German shepherds tend to be owned by outgoing people. Those who keep greyhounds are more emotionally stable and those with 'toy' dogs like chihuahuas are seen as more agreeable.