Sometimes animals come into the Centre in - there are no other words to describe it - a disgusting state. It always astonishes and sickens us that people think it is appropriate to keep their animals in such conditions, and allow them to get into such appalling states. How on earth can a person sit there, eating their own food, whilst watching their animal slowly starve and not even attempt to get help? Yet this happens frequently. We have had several dogs at the Centre who were rescued from locked up houses. Their owners had moved out and left them behind. Cats have been thrown down stairs because they are 'in the way'.
We don't often publicise these horrific cases whilst they are happening due to legal reasons. If an animal's case is going to court we simply are not allowed to publish the details. This can be frustrating because when we see animals in these situations we just want to shout about it, to make people aware that this still happens. However, we can't do anything to jeopardise an active case, and we certainly wouldn't want to. Therefore we have to wait until after the court case, which can take months.
One example of a cruelty case that we can now discuss is that of Heidi, the whippet cross pup who arrived via an Inspector with horrendous mange. As the picture below shows she barely had any fur left, aside from a small patch on the back of her neck, and she was covered in sores. There is no excuse for this. There is no possible reason to let a dog get into this state.
Heidi spent the first month of her time with us living in an office, as the kennel environment would not have helped her to recover, having regular skin treatments to fight the mange and sleeping to regain her strength. You would not have known she was only a five month old puppy as she barely moved from her duvet at first. Slowly but surely she recovered and her true personality began to shine.
Luckily for Heidi she made a full recovery and two months after she arrived she was adopted by a wonderful couple and she lives with them and their handsome Pointer. The picture to the left, taken 5 months after she first arrived shows just how wonderful she looks. You would never know the trauma she had been through. Some people say that dogs live in the moment and not the past, and I for one hope that is true. Heidi is not an isolated case - every month animals in dire conditions arrive in desperate need of treatment and love. Please don't think that just because you don't hear all these cases, they don't exist. Heidi was also one of the lucky ones as sadly the truth is that some dogs are just too far gone to save.
If you are not able to provide veterinary treatment and basic needs, such as shelter, space, appropriate food and fresh water, to an animal then the simple truth is that you should not go out and buy one. Although we maintain that we are a nation of pet lovers, pets are far too often treated as a disposable commodity, to purchase and give away, or sometimes throw away, as necessary. This viewpoint MUST CHANGE.
We need everybody's help to stamp out cruelty. If you would like advice on responsible pet ownership, take a look at our pages. To report cruelty contact National RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. To donate to help us to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome needy animals text PAWS45 £amount to 70070, or have a look here for more ways to donate. If you are struggling to care for your pet, seek help before the situation becomes serious.
Communications & Volunteer Manager