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Animal cruelty stories

The following stories represent just a limited number of the animal cruelty cases that we come across on a regular basis.

Warning: You may find some of the details in these stories upsetting

Deprived dogs

Filthy house © RSPCA

A couple from Greater Manchester, who kept a pack of 15 dogs indoors in deprivation and squalor, were disqualified from keeping animals for life.

The crowded conditions at their home had severely affected the dogs’ wellbeing. None of the dogs were neutered or vaccinated, there were no collars or leads found in the house and the dogs didn’t appear to have been walked or socialised.

On arriving at the property and while waiting for the police to arrive RSPCA Inspector Vicki McDonald witnessed the defendants fleeing the scene, leaving the dogs loose in the house. A fight quickly broke out, and Vicki could hear a dog inside being attacked by others, but was powerless to intervene.

Died from injuries

Two dogs in the garden © RSPCA

When the police gained entry Vicki found a female dog lying collapsed, covered in blood and fight injuries. She carried her downstairs and laid her on the grass outside, unfortunately the dog eventually died in front of her.

Back inside the house the smell was overpowering. There was faeces and rubbish strewn underfoot and over every surface. The floorboards were soaked with urine, with nowhere for the dogs to rest or sleep comfortably. The inside door handles had been removed and the doors tied shut with cables and chains.

No remorse

In interview the woman admitted all the dogs had originated from just one pair. She confirmed that numerous dogs had died from fight injuries and sickness over the years and several were buried in the garden. The man showed no remorse and accepted no wrongdoing.

Vicki said:

The scale of mental suffering endured by these poor dogs has had a lasting impact on me. I just hope this case acts as a warning not to keep animals in this manner. I sincerely hope never to come across anything like this again.

The reason those dogs behaved as they did was because they were kept in those squalid, prison-like conditions as a feral pack.

Learning to trust

Gradually, the dogs became used to walking on leads and learned to trust people, although some remained fearful of strangers.

Vicki added:

I’m extremely pleased that, after eight months with us, staff at the RSPCA branches have been able to turn so many of these deprived dogs around. It’s due to their hard work that they’re now ready to go on to loving new homes.



Investigating officer: RSPCA Inspector Vicki McDonald
Defendant: Male 53, unemployed; female 38, unemployed
Offences: Animal Welfare Act 2006 s4 and s9
Pleas: Guilty
Total number of convictions: Eight
Sentence: Both disqualified from keeping animals for life; 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for one year; 12-week curfew order; £500 costs.
Prosecuted by: Stock Moran Swalwell Solicitors


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