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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

Dogs emaciated, covered in sores and chained to a radiator

Jessie and Bruiser on rescue © RSPCA

RSPCA Inspector Jennie Ronksley visited a flat in South Yorkshire, accompanied by a housing officer, after concerns were raised about the wellbeing of the occupants and their dogs.

As Jennie approached the flat she noticed a strong smell of ammonia coming from inside. Looking through the letterbox, she could see a thin, male Staffordshire bull terrier barking and growling in a hallway covered in urine and faeces. She knocked on the door and called through the letterbox.

Threats from aggressive owners

Once inside, Jennie immediately secured the bull terrier, called Shank, who was very aggressive. The occupants were both extremely aggressive and made threats towards Jennie and the housing officer, forcing them to leave. Shank was placed in the Jennie’s RSPCA van.

The police arrived, and after some time the woman agreed to allow Inspector Ronksley back into the flat so she could view the remaining dogs. What she saw shocked her.

A chain too short to reach water

Jessie after recovery © RSPCA

Jessie, a Staffordshire bull terrier and Bruiser, a bull mastiff-cross were found curled up on a filthy blanket by a radiator. Bruiser was chained to the radiator with a chain too short to reach the water bowl.  

Jessie and Bruiser were extremely thin. Both of them had pressure sores on their bodies – Jessie had a particularly large, open ulcer beside her tail. She struggled to walk and had clumps of excrement between her toes. There was no dog food present.

Brusier after recovery © RSPCA 

Jessie and Bruiser were taken to our Sheffield Animal Centre to recover. Jessie’s pressure sores began to heal and, after some food and supportive wound care, both dogs put on weight and became more alert.

Today, they are unrecognisable compared to the state they were found in.

Sadly, Shank was so aggressive he had to be euthanased by the vet, as he was not deemed rehomeable.

When interviewed the man showed no remorse.  He smirked while he lied that he did not know what a vet was.


Investigating officer: RSPCA Inspector Jennie Ronksley
Defendants: Male 21, unemployed
Offences: Animal Welfare Act 2006 s4 and s9
Pleas: Guilty
Total number of convictions: Five
Sentence: Disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years; 16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for one year; 200 hours’ unpaid work; one-year supervision order; £680.13 costs.
Prosecuted by: Tierney & Co Solicitors


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