Bulldog Riga nursed back to health by RSPCA in County Durham after having ears cropped

Riga is looking for a new home after being nurtured back to health by the RSPCA when his ears were mutilated. Credit: RSPCA

A young dog who had his ears mutilated has made a full recovery after 15 months care of from the RSPCA.

Riga, a bulldog, was left to suffer for several days after his owner illegally cropped his ears and did not seek veterinary care for the injuries he received.

He was seized in Greater Manchester in April 2021 before being taken to Felledge Animal Centre in County Durham last autumn.

Riga is now ready to start searching for a new home. Staff at the centre say he is a happy and loving dog despite his ordeal.

Staff at the centre say Riga is a happy and loving dog despite his ordeal. Credit: RSPCA

Luka Atkinson, deputy centre manager, said: “He’s a really friendly boy and seems to be completely unaffected by the trauma and suffering he endured at such an early age. 

“Even though he’s missing large parts of both ears, it doesn’t impede him and he’s got quite an infectious zest for life. He’s excellent with other dogs too and has made friends with several canine companions since he’s been here."

The RSPCA has highlighted Riga's story as part of their Mutilated for Money campaign, which highlights the procedure to crop a dog's ears, often done to make them look "tough". 

Though ear cropping is illegal in the UK, the RSPCA received 391 reports last year.

Riga before his ears were cropped. Credit: RSPCA

Riga's owner admitted to allowing the animal's ears to be cropped and was jailed for 23 weeks and given a 15-year ban on keeping animals.

RSPCA inspector Emma Dingley, said: “It’s wonderful to see Riga looking so happy and ready to start this next phase of his life, and that’s testament to the many months of care and rehabilitation he’s received by the staff at Felledge.

“Ear cropping is a horrific practice which has absolutely no benefits for dogs like Riga and can cause them lifelong health, behavioural and social problems. It’s done purely for cosmetic purposes and sadly can lead to puppies being sold for much more money.

"We’d urge the public and anyone looking to buy a puppy to remember that this is an illegal procedure which has hugely negative impacts for the dogs themselves.”

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