Lancashire's shame after latest RSPCA stats

Shamed Lancashire is one of the country's animal cruelty hotspots.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 12:00 pm
Jack the Jack Russell who was in a terrible state

The county is joint second –with Greater London – in a table for the number of convictions following annual RSPCA figures released yesterday.

West Yorkshire topped the table.

As usual, the north had some of the highest figures.

Lancashire featured in the top 10 counties for the number of complaints investigated – coming sixth with figures of 4,811 in 2015, compared to 5,252 the previous year.

Greater London was top.

The RSPCA revealed that dogs were the most persecuted pet in the north and across England and Wales.

Almost 57 per cent of complaints it investigated related to dogs.

This compares to 24 per cent for cats, the second most abused pet.

Of Lancashire’s 4,811 complaints investigations, 2,909 involved dogs; 1,085 cats; and 817 other.

In one incident, a Jack Russell was left in a ‘terrible state’ by his owner Lucy Jo Dudley, as a debilitating skin condition caused his skin to peel.

Dudley, 39, was banned from keeping dogs for five years by Blackpool magistrates after she admitted causing suffering to the animal.

Blackpool magistrates heard how RSPCA officers found the dog almost completely bald and bleeding for pores all over its body when they visited Dudley’s home at Gamble Road, Thornton.

The dog was taken into care by the RSPCA and its condition improved after it was treated by a vet.

The rise in organised animal fights in Blackpool was condemned by charity bosses, as RSCPA figures revealed the problem was getting worse.

The charity vowed to clamp down on the “horrific” levels of cruelty it came across.

Dermot Murphy, assistant director for the RSPCA Inspectorate, said: “People think of dogs as man’s best friend but these statistics tell a different story.

“They are by far the most abused animal in this country and we investigate more complaints related to them than any other species.”

Across England and Wales, there was 143,004 complaints of animal cruelty investigated in 2015, down from 159,831 in 2014.

Cases which had to be resolved by way of prosecution also fell. A total of 796 people were convicted of animal welfare offences in 2015, compared to 1,029 in 2014.