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Abandoned dog found on country lane with sore paws

The RSPCA is appealing for information after a young, lurcher dog was found limping down a country lane in Somerset.

The female dog, now known as Star and is less than a year old.

The female dog, now known as Star and is less than a year old. Credit: RSPCA

She was found on a cold afternoon at the end of January, by a member of the public down a quiet lane that runs from the village of Curry Mallet to Isle Brewers Road. She was noted to be in a terrible condition with severe mange between her toes leaving her struggling to walk.

The member of the public who found her said Star came right up to her and was obviously friendly and used to people. They also noticed that she was walking in a funny way and, feeling sorry for her, took her in for the night until she was picked up to take her to a local kennel.

The mange had left her skin raw and sore, leading the RSPCA to launch an investigation into her condition.

Poor Star was found very skinny and unkempt with skin so red raw and riddled with mange. The mange was that bad that it was even between her toes and she could barely walk. She is now thankfully being treated and cared for by the staff at our animal centre, but leaving an animal to suffer like this is just unacceptable.

When she was found she was wearing a really distinctive greyish brown webbed collar. We are hoping that this might trigger people's memories and will help us get to the bottom of exactly what has happened here.

– John Pollock, RSPCA inspector

Staff say Star is recovering well and that they hope to find her a loving home soon.

Anyone with more information is being urged to contact Inspector Pollock on the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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Terrified puppy abandoned and left tied to tree

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.

Heidi was left terrified as she was abandoned and tied to a tree at dawn Credit: RSPCA

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.

– Jo Daniel, RSPCA Inspector

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.

– Jo Daniel, RSPCA Inspector

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Gloucester man jailed for microwaving live pet rabbit

Paul Rogers has been jailed for microwaving his pet rabbit Credit: SWNS

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."

– District Judge Joti Boparai

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."

– RSPCA Inspector Philip Mann

Animals being abandoned like rubbish

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
These rare tortoises were dumped outside a pet shop in Gloucester - it was lucky they were spotted before they grew too cold Credit: RSPCA

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.

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