The RSPCA is appealing after a terrified young puppy was left tied to a tree and surrounded by mud.
The five-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross, who has now been called Heidi, was spotted by a group of people as they were walking their dog in Creech St Michael.
The group spotted a young man running away down the canal path, and shortly after heard the sound of a distressed dog and went to investigate.
It was just coming light at the canal when these people saw what looked like a young man in his twenties running away down the canal path. He was wearing jeans and trainers. He may not be the owner of the dog but we would really like to speak to this man in case he might have seen anything that could be of use to our investigation.
Poor Heidi was clearly scared and had no idea what was happening to her. We are just thankful that she was found quickly and is now safe in our care.
They found the abandoned pooch near 20-acre field at around 7.30am on January 15.
Underweight and frightened Heidi was taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch animal centre where she was given shelter.
The RSPCA have now launched an investigation into the incident.
There are many options available to people who may be struggling with their unwanted pets and tying a young puppy to a tree without a thought of what could have happened to her as a result is an unacceptable and rather callous act.
The lead Heidi was tied up with is quite distinctive and we are appealing to anyone who may recognise the lead, her, or may have any more information about how she came to be tied to that tree.
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A man who microwaved his pet rabbit to death has been jailed for 16 weeks - with a judge branding the killing "sadistic".
Paul Rogers, 60, watched as the helpless creature writhed and squealed inside the oven for three minutes before leaving its lifeless body on a saucepan lid in his room.
The homeless drifter, who was living temporarily at the Dorchester Guesthouse in Gloucester, had bought the female rabbit only five days earlier from a pet shop.
Rogers, who spent periods in psychiatric hospitals, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing an animal unnecessary suffering on October 28 last year.
Passing sentence, District Judge Joti Boparai said Rogers had planned the killing:
"This is one of the most upsetting and unpleasant cases I have dealt with for a long time. Animal cruelty is bad enough when people abuse their pets, but this has resulted in very extreme suffering by a helpless rabbit. You thought about it, you planned it and you decided to carry out this sadistic act - and not only that, once you put the rabbit in that microwave you watched it while it squealed in that microwave. Three minutes is an extremely long time for anything to be suffering in the way I have heard.
"Your case passes the custody threshold but I have to consider whether I can suspend the sentence. This case is so cruel and the suffering of that animal is so extreme that regardless of your personal circumstances I cannot suspend it. Therefore the sentence will be 16 weeks."
Rogers, of no fixed address, was also banned from keeping animals for life and told he could not apply to have the ban lifted for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay £200 prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
Rafe Turner, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a fellow resident at the guest house had made the grim discovery after going to Rogers' room to feed the rabbit - finding it dead on a saucepan lid next to the microwave.
Rogers had earlier told the man he had killed it after microwaving it for three minutes but the man did not believe him and thought he was "taking the mickey".
After finding the rabbit the man called the police, who seized the pet and the microwave.
"We think the prison sentence is completely appropriate in a case like this where you can only really describe the defendant as evil in what he did. It is one of the nastiest cases I have come across.
"Obviously we completely welcome the ban. It is the most important thing to make sure the gentleman doesn't have anything to do with animals again."
The RSPCA has reported a big increase in the number of abandoned animals in our region with almost 1,500 cases so far this year.
- Bristol 209 cases
- Somerset 541 cases
- Wiltshire 354 cases
- Gloucestershire 318 cases
They include these three rare red-footed tortoises which were found in rabbit hutches at a pet store in Gloucester. If they'd been left outside for any longer they could have really suffered.
The charity has begun an appeal to help it tackle a problem where it says too many animals are being dumped like rubbish. It worries that it will get even worse as winter draws in.
The RSPCA has warned people not to buy dogs or puppies at Priddy Sheep Fair in Somerset.
The annual event takes place on Wednesday but the charity said some dogs bought in previous years turned out to be in poor health.
A cat and her two kittens are recovering after being dumped by the police station in Gloucester.
The animals were wrapped in a pink paw print blanket and left on a bench in Berkeley Street where they were spotted by a member of the public.
They're being looked after by the RSPCA who say they are well cared for.
If the owner can't be traced, the person that found them has offered to take them in.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Heywood said: “The mother and kittens were left right next to the police station but no-one saw who dumped them, or when. By the time they were found they were obviously very distressed and frightened. Thank goodness for the swift actions of the passer-by"
The RSPCA says it is getting more reports of animal cruelty and neglect then ever but is doing its best to tackle what it calls a growing crisis. Last year the charity secured more convictions for animal cruelty in Somerset than anywhere else in the south of England.