SOME shocking stories of animal cruelty have been released by the RSPCA as the charity revealed today (Tuesday) that the number of people convicted of cruelty and neglect rose by almost a quarter last year.
In the East region, which includes Fenland, 232 people were convicted for cruelty and neglect, compared to 153 in 2010.
There were 353 convictions in relation to cruelty to dogs, a rise of 160 from the previous year, and 172 bans, an increase of 47 bans.
Fifteen prison sentences were also handed out and 499 people were reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department.
Many of these cruelty cases end up at the RSPCA Centre at Block Fen in Wimblington, where animals receive treatment from the dedicated staff and are then rehomed.
Patterdale Terrier Gerry was found dumped and collapsed on a roadside in the Peterborough area with crush injuries to his nose and face.
RSPCA vet Becky Ailsby, who is based at the Block Fen Animal Centre, said his injures were consistent with a badger bite, and it was thought because of his breed he had been injured while baiting and left to die.
The bite to his face had crushed his nose and part of his mouth and it had become infected.
Throughout an intense three months of treatment and operations, Gerry remained an amazing patient and loving dog.
He rarely required anaesthetic for the dressing of his wounds and would just sit and let the RSPCA veterinary staff carry it out, without whimpering or becoming distressed.
After such a traumatic time, Gerry had a happy ending and was rehomed by Emma Britchford and her partner Marc Brotherhood, who live in the March area. He is pictured above at his new home.
Emma said: “Gerry’s story is incredible and when we met him we instantly fell in love with him. Who wouldn’t? He has been through so much we knew that we had to take him home, he was just adorable.
“Gerry is a real character and has bonded so well with our other dog Guinness. He has completely recovered from his injuries, although he does sneeze a lot.
“When we take him for a walk, new people who meet him sometimes think he is snarling, but then we explain that it’s just a result of his operations and that’s how his face is, he always wins them over.”
While Gerry found a loving home, there are still lots of dogs who have overcome challenging situations and are now looking for families, such as Phyllis.
Staffie cross puppy Phyllis (pictured with Lorna Henderson at Block Fen) came into RSPCA care earlier this year with an extreme and severe case of mange.
Her body was so covered with sores that every movement she made left her in excruciating pain, but after a few short weeks of treatment, the change in her was amazing.
Vet Becky said: “The first time she played with the toys in her kennel brought a tear to the eyes of the staff that had been looking after her, and it showed that she had found her zest for life again.”
She is only six months old and suffered from this mange for all of her short life. Now the treatment is complete she is ready for a new loving home, where she can be like all other puppies.
Dodger is another dog who is looking for a home. The 18-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier was born deaf and with severe cataracts in both his eyes, making him almost entirely blind.
His story hit the headlines after his owner was filmed hitting him. The owner was subsequently prosecuted for animal cruelty and banned from keeping dogs for 15 years.
Following his rescue, Animal Health Trust ophthalmologists performed cataract surgery on Dodger’s right eye and he is now able to see again. He had surgery on his other eye earlier this year.
Dodger needs a special owner, but he has started to learn sign language. He will also need follow-up treatment for his eyes for several weeks.
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.”
• The RSPCA Centre can be contacted on 0300-123-0726 if you are interested in re-homing.