RSPCA appeal to tackle cruelty

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A LEADING animal charity is asking for Wiganers to be vigilant amid concerns over rising cases of animal neglect and cruelty.

The RSPCA say they are being overwhelmed with animals in dire need, stretching them to breaking point – all at a time when public generosity is under real pressure.

Unfortunately, this has been highlighted far too often in Wigan borough in recent months, with a number of shocking cases of animal cruelty being unearthed.

In September this year, 23 year old Cassie George and her 31 year old partner Paul Hilton were banned from keeping animals for life after admitting charges of “shocking” animal cruelty.

The court heard that on February 22 a collapsed and skeletal male dark brindle Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog was found by a distressed member of the public on The Marshes playing fields in Leigh.

He was “collapsed, emaciated and barely alive” and by the time assistance arrived the dog had died.

On February 24 a second dog was found on the same playing fields.

This time a female white and black Staffordshire bull terrier-type was collapsed and starving but after being rushed to a vet and put on a drip she survived.

While the female dog, called Bitches but now renamed Brooke, weighed just 7.05kg when she came into the RSPCA’s specialist care.

Unfortunately, the RSPCA say cases like this are all too common and that there has been a massive 65 per cent increase in the animals abandoned over the last five years as pet owners struggle to make ends meet since the recession began.

Bill Stubbs (pictured top), who has just retired after 38 years of service in Wigan for the RSPCA still believes that through highlighting such acts of cruelty it helps educate people and in turn helps animals remain safe.

He said: “A lot of cruelty comes about through ignorance and it’s the old story of only overcoming a need for social change through education. Often aspects of cruelty remain hidden behind closed doors but if you push hard enough then they will eventually break open.”

To donate to the RSPCA’s urgent Animal Welfare Crisis Appeal: Text ‘Crisis’ now to 70007 to give £5 (Text costs £5 + one standard network rate message) or call 0300 123 8181 or go online and donate at: www.rspca.org.uk/crisisappeal