THE RSPCA have reported a 50 per cent rise in the number of convictions for cruelty to animals in the past 12 months, including some high-profile cases across Wigan.
The charity say convictions in the courts rose from 29 to 58 in the last 12 months in Greater Manchester and it shows that cruelty is unfortunately on the rise across the region.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: ‘The RSPCA is leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis. Our staff, volunteers and branches show tremendous dedication but they are struggling to keep up.
“For us, prosecution is always the last resort. Our inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases and issued 78,090 advice notices last year – these are extremely effective in improving the care of animals.
“However if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse. We also want to see judges taking these offences far more seriously.
“More animals need our help than ever before and I urge everyone to dig deep and give us as much support as you can – hold a fund-raising event during RSPCA Week, volunteer for us, or if you are able, please give a new home to an abandoned or abused animal.
“Now more than ever we need all animal lovers to stand up against a rising tide of animal cruelty. We can’t do it without you.”
In September last year, Cassie George, 18, from Leigh and her 31-year-old partner Paul Hilton were given 18-week prison sentences, suspended for two years by Wigan magistrates after pleading guilty to causing the pets to suffer.
In February last year a collapsed and skeletal male Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog was found by a distressed member of the public on The Marshes playing fields in Leigh. It sadly died.
Two days later a second dog was found on the same playing fields.
This time a female Staffordshire bull terrier-type was collapsed and starving but after being rushed to a vet and put on a drip she survived. She was renamed Brooke and despite weighing just seven kilograms when found she recovered and was rehomed.
To donate to the RSPCA, please text Week to 78866 now to give £3 (text costs £3 plus one standard network rate message). Alternatively you can donate by calling 0300 123 8181 or visiting www.rspca.org.uk/act. and signing up to get your MP involved.