The South West had "a shocking catalogue of abuse and neglect" in 2015 - rescuing or collecting nearly ten thousand animals.Read the full story ›
Horrified RSPCA workers are appealing for information after they discovered the mutilated body of a dead cat.
The animal - which had been skinned - was found with broken bones and bound by twine, lying behind a multi-storey car park in Tavistock.
The cat was found by a member of the public outside the Cooperative car park at 8:30am on February 27, and the charity were immediately called for help.
RSPCA inspector Lewis Taylor attended the grim scene.
This was a very strange and disturbing incident and we would really like to get to the bottom of what happened to this poor cat.
It looks like they may have been a black cat from the fur that you can see but the body has been so badly ripped apart that sadly it’s really hard to tell.
A vet has confirmed that they suffered broken bones and then were skinned and tied up, although the tying up was likely to have happened after they died as the rope was clean and loose.
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A pigeon found covered in cooking oil has had a much needed bath at RSPCA West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton.
The adult pigeon was found in Ilfracombe harbour in Devon with his feathers coated in vegetable oil - which can be very dangerous.
RSPCA veterinary nurse Natalie Stahl said: “Oil can be incredibly damaging to birds – affecting their plumage and their ability to stay warm and dry.".
Her team used normal washing-up liquid and warm water to help remove the sticky oil - thought it took a number of baths to clean the pigeon up and bring him back to full health.
"This poor pigeon has really been through the wars."
The centre is hoping to release him back into the wild in the coming weeks.
The RSPCA says its figures for 2014 show that cruelty complaints in the South West and Central England have gone up once again.
The charity investigated 28,800 complaints in the South West and central England in 2014 compared to 28,573 in 2013. More than 3,500 of these involved alleged deliberate and often violent cruelty being inflicted upon animals.
It is extremely concerning that we are still receiving so many complaints about animals being deliberately caused to suffer.
Most of the complaints we receive involve animals being neglected or not receiving the right care and often we can put that right by offering welfare advice. However, it is shocking that in 2014 people are still being deliberately cruel in what can be disturbingly inventive ways.
A pensioner who kept ponies and dogs in squalid conditions is set to lose his home after being handed a £140,000 bill.
Leslie Weatherill kept horses and ponies in an area of woodland and scrub strewn with rubbish and abandoned vehicles.
The land did not have enough grazing to support the 18 horses and ponies and they often roamed into neighbours homes searching for food. The dogs were kept on land in poor conditions where lot of rats were around.
When Devon County Council were called to the waste land they contacted the RSPCA who took the animals from him.
But the defiant pensioner refused to sign over his 29 dogs so they could be rehomed, and over the last 15 months, the court heard, it has cost the animal charity £90,000 to keep the terriers, collies and poodles in kennels.
Weatherill was prosecuted by Devon County Council Trading Standards department and the RSPCA and was convicted - following a trial - on 22 charges.
Exeter magistrates jailed the white haired pensioner from Ide for 12 weeks after he was sentenced for one offence of cruelty to a dog and 21 charges under the Animal Welfare Act.
But the magistrates suspended the jail term for 18 months
Chairwoman Linda Price said the total costs of the case were £138,322 but told the court she accepted the hard-up pensioner would not have enough money now, or in the future, to pay.
He was ordered to pay £50,000 towards the 'huge' costs surrounding the case, and was banned for the rest of his life from keeping animals.
The court heard the land was strewn with rubbish, derelict caravans, abandoned and rusting cars, barbed wire, corrugated iron, glass and scrap.
David Sapiecha said the defendant was given advice by the RSPCA and Trading Standards department on improving the area for his animals but said he had “an entrenched attitude and he knows best”.
Defence lawyer Susan Snow said Weatherill had been involved with horses for 55 years but ‘recently things had fallen apart’. She said the six acre land at Doddiscomsbleigh near Exeter where the dogs and ponies were kept had no sale value.
A swan has been rescued in North Devon after a metal pellet was found in its head.
The RSPCA caught the adult male swan on Wrafton pond in Braunton last month. Staff found he had an air rifle pellet lodged in his bill.
The swan was then taken to RSPCA West Hatch in Taunton, Somerset, to be treated and has been returned to the pond.
This poor swan had an air rifle pellet embedded on the fleshy lump at the base of his upper mandible.
We have been told that this swan is one half of a mating pair and has been for many years and they have reared numerous cygnets together so it is lovely to be able to reunite them just in time for breeding season.
Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact the RSPCA inspector line on 0300 123 8018.
The RSPCA says hundreds of animals are being abandoned by their owners and many dumped like rubbish by the roadside. The charity is worried the situation will get even worse as the weather gets colder and we get closer to Christmas.
One animal sanctuary in Exeter is having to deal with the problem increasingly.
As RSPCA West Hatch celebrates being open for 50 years today we look back at how they've helped animals in the regionRead the full story ›