Terrier found with severe injuries thought to be caused by badger digging
We are appealing for information after a Patterdale terrier type dog was found in Leicestershire with severe injuries which suggest she'd been used for badger digging.
The female dog - who was black with a white patch on her chest and some white on her paws - was found injured lying on a track near a council depot in Dalby Road, Melton Mowbray, on March 28 at around 11.45am.
A kind-hearted dog walker rescued the poor dog and took her home before taking her to a local vet.
The dog had bite wounds to her face - consistent with badger digging - and her skin was rotting from the bites and an infected rotten abscess; she also had chronic conjunctivitis.
The independent vet made the sad decision to put the dog to sleep to prevent her from suffering further as they felt nothing more could be done to save her.
The dog was microchipped but it was not registered.
RSPCA Inspector Helen Smith, who is investigating the incident, said:
The wounds this poor dog had to her face were awful and had been left untreated and had caused her skin to just rot away through infection.
In our experience, the bite wounds are consistent with her having been used for badger digging.
These are just awful injuries and she would have suffered an incredible amount of pain - it's just heartbreaking to even think about.
I am investigating this incident and I would appeal to anyone who may know who owned this dog or who has any specific information regarding this to contact me in confidence on the RSPCA Inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
We are following up a number of leads and it is thought given the condition she was in she may have been taken to the spot in a vehicle.
Badger digging is a bloodsport in which dogs - usually small terrier types - are placed into a badger sett to locate, corner and pin a badger while their handlers dig down to them, often using GPS trackers. They will then dig the badger out to kill it or will set larger dogs - often bull lurchers - on them to fight and kill.
Badger digging has been illegal since 1973 but is sadly still rife across the countryside. It causes incredible distress and suffering not only to the badgers but also to the dogs who are used, who often suffer severe injuries that go untreated.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.