RSPCA: Chicken Torture Highlights Rise In Animal Cruelty Cases

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AN ANIMAL charity in North Somerset says more donations are needed to help stem the ‘rising tide’ of cruelty cases.

The RSPCA found that cruelty to animals rose almost 34 per cent across the UK in 2012, including a group of teenage boys who tortured a chicken to death in Portishead.

The number of prosecutions for cruelty rose 15.7 per cent in England and Wales, while the number of animals rescued increased by almost 10 per cent.

Convictions for cruelty to small animals such as hamsters and rabbits rose 265 per cent, while farm-related animal cruelty prosecutions jumped up 123 per cent, with a similar increase for equine animals.

In January last year, three boys from North Somerset pleaded guilty to cruelty to a chicken called Crombie. They stole the bird from a farm before torturing and killing it.

Two boys aged 16 and one aged 17 were given referral orders and made to pay £450 in fines after they broke into a chicken run and forced the bird into a satchel.

 They then punched the chicken in the head, grabbed it by its wings and one reportedly boasted about pulling its head off on a mobile phone recording.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “We are leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis. Our staff, volunteers and branches show tremendous dedication but they are struggling to keep up.

“More animals need our help than ever before and I urge everyone to dig deep and give us as much support as you can.

“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.”

To donate, text Week to 78866 to give £3, call 0300 1238181 or go to

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Cat Set On Fire In Violent Act Of Cruelty

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A CAT has been set on fire in a “sickening” act of animal cruelty in Perth, the RSPCA says.

Inspectors were called to a property in the outer rural suburb of Henley Brook on Sunday after a woman reported the injured animal was in her garden.

She heard the cat crying and called the RSPCA, which took the animal to a veterinary clinic for emergency treatment.

The RSPCA said it appeared the cat was set on fire and also had a broken tail and other injuries.

The cat is on pain relief medication and is being treated for its injuries.

It follows other recent acts of animal cruelty including a horse that was shot with a shotgun, and a kangaroo and dog that were shot in separate incidents with an arrow.

“It is appalling that the RSPCA has investigated four deliberate acts of animal cruelty inside of three weeks,” RSPCA chief executive David van Ooran said.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call the RSPCA’s cruelty hotline on 1300 278 3589.

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Two arrests as live exports lorry stopped at Ramsgate port

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Two lorry drivers have been arrested in Kent after their vehicle carrying four tiers of more than 500 live sheep was declared unfit to cross the Channel.

The lorry, which was found to have faults, was stopped at the Port of Ramsgate and the animals were moved to a temporary holding pen.

The RSPCA said two sheep were put down, two died in an accident and 30 may have to be destroyed

Two sheep, one with a broken leg, were put down. Another 41 severely lame sheep will be shot, the RSPCA said.

Two drowned after the sheep were loaded into an area where the floor collapsed.

Six sheep fell into water and four were rescued by RSPCA officers.

‘Appalling trade’

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has called for an immediate suspension of the live animal exports from Ramsgate.

He and Laura Sandys, Thanet South MP, will meet government ministers over the issue on Thursday.

Mr Grant said: “We told the port authorities right from the start that they did not have the facilities to handle live exports safely.

The sheep were unloaded into a holding pen while the hauliers looked for another vehicle

The RSPCA has been warning that a significant welfare incident like this could lead to tragedy for the animals and now it has.”

He said the charity had fought against this trade for well over 100 years.

“If meat needs to go to the continent then it should be on the hook, not on the hoof, and today cruelly illustrates that this appalling trade needs to cease immediately,” he added.

Second incident

Ms Sandys said she was appalled at the “disgusting” treatment of the sheep.

She said: “This is totally unacceptable and I have taken this up with the minister and secured a meeting with him for tomorrow.”

She added: “I will bring up our grave concerns about this trade in general but our great shock at this particular event.

“This is the second time a transportation from Northamptonshire has been investigated.”

In a separate incident, 600 sheep were forced to spend 24 hours on a transporter after its tyre burst and the animals had to be driven back to Northampton because there were no facilities in Kent for them to be removed, fed and watered.

That incident led Thanet council to write to the Environment Secretary with calls to suspend shipments because of a lack of facilities.

Council leader Clive Hart made five requests including establishing formal resting pens as a matter of urgency, allowing RSPCA officers to inspect lorries transporting live animals, and authorising the RSPCA to check ventilation and water systems.

According to the RSPCA, Ramsgate is the only British port currently being used for shipping animals abroad for further fattening and slaughter.

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Convictions soar in animal cruelty cases

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ANIMAL protection authorities are striking back hard at the worst abusers with a four-fold rise in prosecutions in five years.

But the RSPCA is facing a new challenge in the increasing abandonment of animals, which it says is partly caused by rising financial pressures on households.

Figures released to The Advertiser by the RSPCA show there were 2200 public reports of ill-treatment of animals in the last financial year.

Of those, 69 alleged offenders were prosecuted and all but two cases resulted in convictions.

This is a big jump on the 17 prosecutions recorded in 2007-08.

Despite the court successes, the number of animals suffering abuse remains staggeringly high.

Animal protection authorities are striking back with a rise in convictions for abuse and cruelty.

Among the thousands of cases reported last financial year are allegations a 30kg german shepherd was kept locked in a galah cage measuring 70cm by 70cm by 90cm. Inspectors are also investigating decapitation of a lamb and the deaths of two six-week-old labrador-cross puppies in a sealed garbage bag.

RSPCA chief inspector Simon Richards said the “significant increase” in prosecutions was a result of changes to the Animal Welfare Act in 2008. Under the new Act, fines and prison terms were doubled to a maximum four-year jail term or a $50,000 fine, which encouraged the public to come forward. ” I have yet to see anyone jailed for 4 years, & have seen many cases worthy of a 4 year jail sentence. Perhaps the Judges should see the abuse first hand, that might jee them up to actually prosecute & jail people!”

Our penalties are among the highest in the country (and) our prosecution rate is higher than any other state,” Mr Richards said.

“The tougher penalties indicate the public opinion on animal cruelty and how abhorrent it is, and have increased people’s awareness.”

Although investigative techniques had “vastly improved” in recent years, thanks to forensic science, the RSPCA prosecutes just 3 per cent of reported cases.

“A prosecution is not a win for the RSPCA – we’re about prevention,” Mr Richards said. “A small proportion of  our cruelty reports result in prosecution and, obviously, there’s an enormous number that don’t – we resolve those issues through education (of alleged offenders). Prosecution is for the worst of the worst … ”

University of SA psychology lecturer Dr Alan Campbell said cruelty could be motivated by revenge or a misplaced sense of “fun”.

“Animals are easy targets … for a period of time they can get off on the killing and when that happens, consequences just go out the window,” he said. “For others, it’s to demonstrate violence (or) the power one has over a family. Killing a family pet demonstrates that (a person) can kill a family.”

Neglect cases, he said, were often borne out of ignorance. “One can’t blame ignorance as an excuse not to feed animals, ignorance means ‘Oh, I didn’t know it needed food to survive’ !! Please…even small kids know animals need food…anyone can see a skinny animal & know that it needs food or it will die. That’s not ignorance, that’s just sheer laziness! Or a case of  ‘you wanted it so you feed it’ …& of course they don’t, so the poor thing dies, then they all blame each other!”

“The majority just can’t be bloody bothered to feed their animals, especially if it means them having to leave their cozy house & go out back to feed a dog, or to a barn or field to feed horses or cattle…most of the time it’s simply because they just can’t be arsed! “

“There may be an understanding that animals can fend for themselves,” he said.

“They believe you should be able to leave them in paddocks to eat grass, or dogs and cats in a pen and chuck some food in there.” “So are we to assume these owners don’t look at the animals, that they are blind, they can’t see that their horses or dogs are skin & bone? Of course they can…but these are the animals who are not pets as such, they are just garden ornaments or their to protect property. Therefore not to be loved or attended to, these owners,  just throw the odd bit of food & nothing else!

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Creative Virtual Ltd Announces Launch of RSPCA’s Virtual Assistant

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Creative Virtual Ltd has announced that a new V-Person™ (virtual assistant) solution was launched for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) back in 2011. A V-Person is capable of holding conversations with digital users in real time, 24/7. For users it means the sensation of communicating with a ‘real’ person able not only to answer their questions, but also to understand the context of those questions and even hold entire conversations.

Ask Annie, the RSPCA’s new online virtual assistant, has been available on the RSPCA website ( since June 2011 and is helping users find a variety of information and advice on topics such as general pet care, animal rehoming and animal welfare law. Annie provides a list of local vets, police and fire and rescue services based on the user’s postcode. Implementing a V-Person on their website has helped the RSPCA further their mission to “prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of all animals” by giving website visitors a quick and easy way to find answers to their questions on all main species of domestic and wild animals without having to make a phone call.

Current trends show that by January 2013 Ask Annie will be handling in the region of 175,000 conversations per year, 250% above the expected volumes needed to prove a virtual assistant is a valuable addition to the RSPCA’s customer service experience. On average 30% of people using the service say it saves them from calling, and it’s expected that low-priority advice calls handled by the charity’s 24/7 national control centre will reduce by over 50,000 in 2012. This will allow controllers to focus on emergency calls about animals in most need of the RSPCA’s help.

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It’s a sweet life now for abandoned Sugar

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The people of Bathurst were heartbroken when they saw RSPCA photographs of the victim of one of the most shocking stories of neglect and animal cruelty seen in this city, but nearly a year on this story has a happy ending.

Sugar, a shar pei cross weighed just 10.6 kilos when she was found three weeks after being abandoned in a house with her four puppies. 

The inspector who rescued her said it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he had seen in 10 years on the job.

But now, with a great deal of love and care both by the RSPCA and Sugar’s new family in Sydney, she has more than doubled her weight, tipping the scales at a healthy 23 kilos.

Sugar has been part of Amanda Knowles’ family for the past nine weeks.

Amanda said that when the family first met Sugar she spent a few minutes sniffing around, then she padded over to her dad and placed her head in his lap.

She said that simple gesture won her dad over and Sugar has been his shadow ever since.

However, it wasn’t until they were certain they were going to take her home that the RSPCA staff showed them the newspaper clippings telling the story of a her sad life.

“It was heartbreaking,” Amanda said.

A GOOD HOME: Amanda Knowles with a healthy, happy Sugar. BELOW: Sugar as she appeared in the Western Advocate last year, starved almost to the point of death. 051012sugar

“How could you let that happen. It’s just disgusting.

“When we saw those photos we cried.

“Given what she has been through she has the most wonderful nature.

“She wants to be loved and touched. She wants to be with you and know what’s going on.

“To be able to give her a second chance at the life she deserves is very humbling,” Amanda said.

Amanda said Sugar is very talkative and doesn’t like to go to bed.

If you stop patting her she tries to slip her head under your hand and nudge you to keep going and she will sit right beside you all day if you let her.

Sadly though, if anyone raises their voice in the house, she’s gone like a shot and she still has trouble with her ears because they went too long without treatment after becoming infected.

Sugar has also been on a special diet for the past 12 months but now she is strong enough to gradually be introduced to other foods.

“She’s a beautiful dog,” Amanda said.

“It amazes me the way she puts her faith and trust in us even though humans have treated her so badly.”

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Suspected animal cruelty case – Orange

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Friday, 04 May 2012 02:01:54 PM

Police are appealing for public assistance following a suspected case of animal cruelty in the state’s central west.

About 9.30am yesterday (Thursday 3 May 2012), a staff member and a number of students at a school on Anson Street in Orange located an injured kangaroo near the school’s agriculture plot.

The animal’s tail had been completely severed, and it had also sustained lacerations to one of its legs.

Police and RSPCA officers were called to the school where they assessed the animal and inspected the scene. Due to the nature of its injuries, the kangaroo had to be put down.

An investigation into the incident has commenced and police suspect the animal may have been attacked by a person or number of people.

Anyone with information that may assist police inquiries is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Animal cruelty furore

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A PHOTO of a school student with his hand around the neck of an ibis is at the centre of an animal welfare investigation in Hervey Bay.

RSPCA regional inspector Amanda Yates said she launched the investigation after a complaint by a member of the public.

It is unclear in the picture, which was posted to Facebook and later taken down, whether the bird is dead or alive.

As both boys in the photo are wearing a school uniform, Ms Yates said she expected that the school would be called upon to assist with her inquiries.A disturbing sidebar to the appearance of the photo on Facebook was the number of people who commented on it.

There were more than 100 people who offered up their thoughts and more than 20 people who indicated they liked what they saw.

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In need of a loving new home: Soldier the Alsatian starved to within an inch of its life by cruel owner

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  • Shocking treatment among a growing number of animal cruelty cases
  • Convictions for cruelty or neglect rose by a quarter last year to 1,341
  • Others included dog stabbed with potato peeler, blind kitten dumped
    in a carrier bag and bearded dragons left for months inside handbags

With barely a morsel of flesh left on his body and his fur falling out, Soldier looks on his last legs.

The once-strapping Alsatian cross was discovered by RSPCA inspectors weighing just half his healthy weight after being starved to bare bones by his former owner.

A view from above reveals just how shockingly close he came to death, with his body measuring just a couple of inches across at its narrowest.











But his story is one which is becoming increasingly common as convictions for cruelty to animals rose by almost a quarter last year, according to figures released today by the RSPCA.

Cases included a dog repeatedly stabbed with a potato peeler, a blind kitten found dumped in a carrier bag and a pair of bearded dragons left for two months inside handbags in a loft.

Some 1,341 people were convicted of cruelty or neglect against pets and farm animals in 2011, a rise of 23.5 per cent on the previous year.

Shockingly thin: Soldier's owner has been prosecuted for animal cruelty, along with more than 1,000 others in the past year

A total of 74 prison sentences were imposed – a rise of 27% – including one for a man filmed kicking his dog and pulling him into the air with his lead while taking him for a walk.

There was also a 21 per cent jump in the number of disqualification orders imposed by the courts with 1,100 people banned from keeping animals.

The RSPCA received 1,314,795 calls from the public last year and had a 98.2 per cent prosecution success rate for the cases it took to court.

But now, on the eve of RSCPA week – its annual fundraising push – the charity says it is struggling to cope with the upsurge in cases.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: ‘The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point.

‘We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted.

‘We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain’s abused animals.’

RSPCA inspectors witnessed some appalling acts of cruelty including finding an emaciated dog alive in a home where another dog, two cats, a hamster and a rat had died of starvation.

Cross breed collie Beethoven had only survived after it fed on the remains of the two cats. His fellow dog Buster had died.

Jayne Bashford of the RSPCA described the scene at the property as ‘truly horrific and disturbing’.

She added: ‘Particularly disturbing to me were the scratch marks on the rear of the kitchen door where Buster had desperately tried to escape before he was found dead in his bed.’

A Wolverhampton man was jailed for 20 weeks in jail after he admitted 34 animal cruelty charges.

Beethoven was rescued and has now been rehomed in Liverpool.  The RSPCA statistics also record some amazing stories of survival.

They include the case of a lurcher-type dog which survived after two men broke her back and stabbed her with a potato peeler.

Maggie May was left to die but was nursed back to full fitness by RSPCA staff.

Statistically, the north of England has the worst record when it comes to cruelty to animals for 2011 with 1048 people reported and 533 of those convicted.

West Yorkshire was the area with the most cases reported at 216 with 82 convictions.

The Welsh appear to be kindest to their animals with only 84 convictions from 220 reports of animal cruelty.

Sally Case, head of society prosecutions, said: ‘The RSPCA strives to keep animals with their owners wherever possible and offers advice on improving their welfare.

‘Overwhelmingly this advice is followed, but where it isn’t, or where someone has already harmed an animal there has to be a way of ensuring that animals are not left to suffer and the RSPCA is the charity people turn to – and we are struggling to continue providing this service.

‘Of course we work closely with governmental and other charitable organisations, but we are the main organisation which prosecutes those who abuse animals and which can prevent cruelty to animals.

‘We can’t do this without the help and support of the public and we need it now more than ever.’

RSPCA Week 2012 runs from April 30 to May 6. To donate or find out more about Soldier contact 03001 238 000 or click here

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