RSPCA warns of rising animal cruelty cases in North West due to cost of living concerns

Puppy found in the nick of time after being dumped in a bid bag
Puppy found in the nick of time after being dumped in a bin bag Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA says it receives 10 reports an hour of dogs being subjected to cruelty - and warns this is expected to increase in the North West with the cost of living crisis.

New figures released as part of the animal welfare charity’s "Cancel Out Cruelty" campaign show there were 44,427 reports of dog cruelty involving 92,244 dogs last year.

One of the many dogs rescued by RSPCA dedicated frontline teams Credit: RSPCA

Greater Manchester had the highest number of dog cruelty cases reported to the RSPCA in the North West during that period:

  • There were 2,325 cases in Greater Manchester

  • In Lancashire there were 1,594

  • Merseyside had 1,399

  • In Cheshire there were 848

With more people becoming dog owners during lockdown the charity is concerned the number of cruelty incidents involving pets will increase.

The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its cruelty line every month involving all animals but in July and August calls rise to 134,000 a month and reports of cruelty soar to 7,600 each month - a heartbreaking 245 every day.

The charity is also worried more dogs will fall victim to abuse or be abandoned as the cost of living crisis takes hold adding financial pressures to pet owners.

Bruce, a French bulldog was found with burns on his back and treated by the RSPCA Credit: RSPCA

French Bulldog Bruce was found shivering and terrified after being dumped with horrific burns across his body in a bush near a park in Preston.

A member of the public took the eight year-old to the RSPCA Preston and district branch where he was treated. It is thought he had been left suffering for two to three weeks.

Bruce was found with horrific burns on his back Credit: RSPCA

He underwent treatment and an operation to remove scar tissue. He spent weeks recovering with dedicated branch staff and has since been re-homed and is now said to be 'loving life.'

A dying puppy was found dumped in a rubbish bag near a crematorium in Greater Manchester along with the body of her dead sibling.

The pup, thought to only be around 12 weeks old, was found in a cat basket which had been put into a tied up black bag and left at the side of a bin on a footpath near the crematorium, off Bolton Road, in Atherton, Greater Manchester.

A dog walker made the distressing discovery in February and rushed the Shih tzu puppy to a nearby vet and reported the case to the RSPCA.

Bulldog type pup was rescued by the RSPCA and had surgery to correct his deformed legs Credit: RSPCA

A male bulldog-type pup, now called Chance, was found by a dog walker in a bush at the side of a footpath close to the back of Kirkdale Cemetery, near Seeds Lane, in Liverpool in February.

The terrified and emaciated pup was rescued and taken to RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary care. When he was found he had two deformed legs and was unable to move.

His legs have now been corrected and he has returned to a healthy weight and has been adopted.

To help prevent suffering, the RSPCA hopes its latest campaign "Cancel Out Cruelty" will raise funds to support its rescue teams.

Bruce had been left with horrific burns for 2-3 weeks until he was rescued by RSPCA staff Credit: RSPCA

Dr Samantha Gaines, RSPCA dog welfare expert said: “Every year, we see many dogs coming into our care bearing the physical and mental scars inflicted at the hands of the very people who were meant to keep them safe and love them unconditionally.

“Our officers have dealt with all sorts of horrific incidents including dogs repeatedly beaten, stabbed, burned, drowned, poisoned, some have been left to die from starvation.

“With the public’s help in reporting cruelty our teams have been able to save many dogs from ongoing abuse."

"Sadly though, in some cases others have died at the hands of their tormentors and it is then our job to try and bring some justice for those pets."

“This year the cost of living crisis has added a further dimension and we believe we could see people really struggling to care for their dogs, which may lead them to lash out or abandon them. We urge people to seek help to prevent this needless cruelty."

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