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Dog Abuse and Cruelty Figures Down in 2006

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Latest RSPCA figures reveal that dog abuse is down in 2006.

According to the RSPCA, UK dog abuse figures are down in 2006 by 15.6%. The new Animal Welfare legislation that was introduced in April this year has given inspectors more powers to prosecute individuals responsible for abusing their dogs and to intervene earlier to prevent further instances of canine cruelty.

Although any reduction in dog abuse cases is extremely good news, 2006 did see some shocking cases of extreme cruelty to dogs in the UK. 2005 was one of the most violent years on record for UK pet dogs, and though the 2006 figures show that on the whole people are beginning to accept responsibility for their dogs welfare, the RSPCA were kept busy rescuing and rehoming dogs that were severely neglected or abused. Cases came to light such as:

The case of a dog that was forced to eat the remains of its dead companions to stay alive. In Peckham, South London , three black and tan terrier crossbreeds were left without food when their owners moved away. Two died and the third only survived by eating the others. Neighbours complained about a bad smell coming from the property. RSPCA officers broke in and discovered the grisly scene. The surviving dog was rushed to a vet for emergency treatment. The owner, Susan Poynter, was banned from keeping animals for 10 years and was ordered to perform 150 hours of community service, plus a 'nine month suspension order' (whatever that means).

Another dog was stabbed to death as it tried to protect its owner after a violent row broke out amongst visiting family relatives. 26 year old Jermaine Clark stabbed the dog, a Shar Pei, at his mother's house.

A dog in Barnsley was found tied to a tree and left to die.

A man slit the throats of his two dogs after arguing with his girlfriend. The man, David Ramsey from Worksop was jailed for 4 months.

A dog in Yorkshire was hit by a car and received a huge gash in its side. Its owner and a friend decided that they would stitch up the wound themselves which they did, leaving the dog with a gaping hole that was badly infected.

A woman left her dog chained to the washing line in the scorching summer heat for nine hours. The dog died from heat exhaustion.

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The director general of the RSPCA, Jackie Ballard said:

“Its encouraging to see a fall in animal cruelty generally and we hope that's
a sign that our animal welfare messages are being heard”.

The North East of England and Yorkshire saw the most convictions of cruelty to animals. Alan Wolinski, regional manager of the RSPCA for the north said:

“Neglect has always been the most common form of cruelty but some
cases defy belief.”

The most notorious case of 2005 was that of Rosalind Gregson, found to have 246 dogs, 16 birds, 5 cats, 2 kittens, a rabbit and a chinchilla in her Lancashire home. All of the animals were found to be in a state of neglect so much so that nine of the dogs had to be destroyed.

Many dog owners feel that even when convictions take place, punishment is usually in the form of fines or community service. One furious dog owner told us that stiffer prison sentences should be given for severe cases of dog abuse.

"In cases of extreme neglect and abuse the owner may receive a few weeks imprisonment. More often than not the punishment for deliberate violent cruelty towards a dog takes the form of fines and bans. All dog owners should be held directly accountable for the health and well-being of their pets. Faced with merely a “slap on the wrist”, heartless people that can commit such dreadful acts of cruelty will not be deterred and will continue to do the awful things they do to one of the most servile creatures on earth, the dog”.

The United Kingdom had a reputation worldwide for kindness to dogs and animals. Though dog abuse figures are falling, much still needs to be done to eradicate abuse and cruelty towards our four legged friends. The cases above show clearly that no matter how much figures fall, there is still a very long way to go before an average dog's life in the UK is safe, healthy and enriched with all those things which us good owners know a dog needs to live a happy and fulfilled existence.

If you don't like dogs, FINE. Don't Get One! To get a dog when you have no deep-rooted love or respect for these animals is an action which shows both your lack of intelligence and your lack of judgement. Dog lovers should own dogs, anyone else should not. To those who enjoy having a dog to boost your ego, or to make you feel big and strong when you beat the poor thing for doing something perfectly natural which you are too ignorant to understand, might i suggest you buy a rope instead, and go look for a tree.

To those who love dogs and feel as sick as we do when you hear some of these awful cruelty cases (and we have seen some ourselves too unfortunately), please do not let abuse go unchecked. If you see behaviour you believe is abusive, REPORT IT to your local Dog Warden or RSCPA Inspector, and let's tighten the net on these people together.

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