Brid area’s animal cruelty on the rise

Shadow was underweight and had a chronic skin condition when she was found by the RSPCA. Picture from the RSPCA.
Shadow was underweight and had a chronic skin condition when she was found by the RSPCA. Picture from the RSPCA.

There was an increase in convictions for animal cruelty in East Yorkshire last year, say the RSPCA.

In 2011, 60 people were convicted in the county but this year the number has gone up to 68, according to a new report.

One of those convictions concerned Shadow, a four-year-old female German Shepherd dog, was underweight and suffering from a chronic skin condition when she came to the attention of the RSPCA in Bridlington.

RSPCA inspector Gill Corder said: “She had extensive hair loss and sore flaky skin, especially on her feet and legs, which was causing her a great deal of suffering for at least six weeks and probably longer.”

As her owners refused to sign her over into RSPCA care, Shadow was seized by police on veterinary advice and taken straight to a vet where she was treated with antibiotics and prescription shampoo.

A 39-year-old man and his 34-year-old wife appeared before Bridlington Magistrates’ Court in February 2012 where they pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.

On sentencing, magistrates indicated that they had come very close to an immediate custodial sentence, such was Shadow’s condition. Both were given 16-week prison sentences suspended for two years and 150 hours of unpaid work. They were ordered to pay £500 costs each and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Shadow, now renamed ‘Maggie’, has now been adopted by inspector Corder. She said: “Maggie is very comfortable with us here. When I groom her beautiful coat I am reminded how different life is for her now. She is a fabulous dog and it is as though she says thank you to us every day.”

Nationally, convictions for animal neglect and cruelty rose by nearly 34%. To donate, or if can rehome an animal, visit www.rspca.org.uk