A RISE in cases of cruelty towards dogs has sparked a plea for struggling owners to hand over their pets.
Pip Singleton, dog warden for Worcestershire, said in the last six months she had picked up more and more abandoned dogs who were suffering needless neglect because owners failed to provide them with basic care.
Among the animals being dumped were dogs suffering with malnutrition, potentially deadly diseases, and matted fur.
In Redditch, collie Bovril was found as a stray in an appalling state last month.
He was extremely thin, malnourished, had diarrhoea, and was also suffering from a severe flea infestation which had caused him to lose large amounts of fur around his back end and tail.
He had to spend five days at the vets to be treated for his conditions.
Another dog’s fur was so matted she could not see and had to endure a three-hour anaesthetic so her coat could be cut.
Miss Singleton said many of the cases occurred because owners had not taken their dogs to get vaccinations or when they had became unwell they could not afford the vet bills.
“The cruelty these dogs have suffered is abhorrent and they haven’t got a bad bone in their bodies and are so loveable,” she said.
“At the end of the day taxpayers are picking up the bill for us to treat these wonderful animals and make them better so they can be rehoused in their forever homes.
“I understand that some people underestimate the cost of having a pet – but if you are struggling, let us know and we will step in and help rehome your pet.”
Coun Mark Bullivant, joint committee chairman for Worcestershire Regulatory Services responsible for the dog warden, said: “I totally support this officer’s approach. We have to stop these dogs being abused so tragically and needlessly neglected.
“Please think twice before you buy or give a pet for Christmas because they are for life – so let’s give them a good one.”
Anyone needing help with rehoming a pet or wanting to report a case of cruelty should call the dog warden service on 01905 822799.