Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Cruelty in the extreme: latest statistics revealed by RSPCA

THROWN IN a washing machine, kicked to death, chained up, throat cut, leg sawn off and hung from a balcony - just some of the terrible acts loving pets have been subjected to in 2005.

Figures released this week by the RSPCA show a worrying rise in animal cruelty and include:

20% increase in convictions secured
13% increase in defendants convicted
6% increase in cases reported and investigated

The RSPCA’s new Welfare Figures have also shown another alarming rise in those animals not receiving basic care and include:

25,784 animals not having access to water – up 104%
34,337 animals not getting suitable veterinary treatment – up 79%
33,308 animals not having a clean environment – up 68%

In a year of horrific headlines detailing some of the worst cases of deliberate cruelty and shocking neglect ever faced by inspectors, the RSPCA is releasing some of its most graphic images, to help make the public aware of the shocking sights increasingly encountered by frontline staff.

Jackie Ballard, director general of the RSPCA, said: ‘2005 will go down as one of the most violent towards animals. Sadly, despite our best efforts, there are those who continue to ignore our messages and treat animals with brute force instead of compassion. The cases highlighted today show why the RSPCA will continue to prosecute those who feel they are doing nothing wrong when harming an animal.

On a more positive note, it is heartening to see how many of these cruelty victims enjoy new and happy lives once they are rehomed by our dedicated staff up and down the country. The pleasure these animals give their new owners shows that the vast majority of people appreciate the important part a pet plays in the family.’

Case studies include:

An owner who sawed off his dog’s leg with an electric knife. Griffith Prosser was disqualified from owning any animals for 10 years after pleading guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Bumper, by failing to provide the animal with proper and necessary veterinary care and attention and of practising veterinary surgery whilst being unregistered.

A four month custodial sentence and a lifetime disqualification from keeping animals for a man who pleaded guilty to cutting the throats of his two pets dogs. David Ramsey, 39, carried out the attack in July 2004, after an argument with his girlfriend. He told relatives what he had done and the police were called. The police called for veterinary assistance, but one dog, a black crossbreed named 'Max' died shortly after they arrived. The other dog, 'Sheba', recovered from her ordeal. In mitigation, Ramsey's solicitor said that this had been a one-off incident and that he was now being treated for depression.

A five year ban for a woman who tied her pet dog’s legs and mouth with chains. Rottweiler-cross Jess was unable to walk, eat or drink and on examination by a vet was found to have a severe skin condition as well as sores, bald patches of hair and irritated skin caused by the chains that bound her. Owner Serena Lloyd, then aged 20, pleaded guilty to the cruel ill treatment of Jess, and in addition to the ban was ordered to complete 60 hours community service, pay £1,250 costs. Jess was confiscated.