Wigan had 960 complaints of animal cruelty last year

Animal cruelty shock statistics
Animal cruelty shock statistics

New figures show that Wigan has one of the most pressing caseloads in the North West when it comes to animal cruelty.


Last year alone RSPCA inspectors dealt with 960 complaints across the borough, according to statistics released by the charity.

This was second only to Manchester, in the region, in terms of cases considered by the RSPCA.

Related: Dog rescued from boiling hot car in Wigan

And the number of convictions, 11 in total, was second only to Bolton, the same research shows.

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue has expressed concern about the sheer volume of being dealt with across the district.

She said: “I know from my postbag that animal welfare is an important issue to many people across the borough.

“And I share these concerns about the mistreatment of animals and I applaud the work of the RSPCA, which remains vigilant and alert to complaints.

“I support calls for stronger protections for domestic animals to include increasing the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty.”

The Wigan Post revealed last April how Greater Manchester, taken as a whole, is the second most prolific area for animal cruelty, after Greater London.
Several high-profile cases have troubled magistrates in the borough over the past 12 months.

Puppy farmer Patrick Ward, who had been on the run for nearly two years, was jailed for 22 weeks earlier this month.

The 40-year-old from Leigh’s unregulated trade meant that four puppies had to be put to sleep.

His sister-in-law, Michelle Ward, and her partner Martin Ward, who were also found guilty of animal welfare offences, are still wanted over the same case.

Former Wigan magistrate Gail Bradshaw and her daughter Nicola, also from Leigh, were banned from keeping animals after the RSPCA witnesses the shocking skin condition of their Highland terriers, Poppy and Holly.

And last December Shaun Taylor, 21, from Scholes, was given a 12-week curfew by magistrates after he beat his Staffordshire terrier Rosie.

He was banned from keeping animals for life after a court heard his hands were left raw, due to the beatings.

Another curfew was handed out to Anna McDonald, after she left her Staffordshire bull terrier, Tess, home alone, in Tamar Grove, Leigh. Neighbours were forced to feed the dog ice cubes to keep it hydrated.