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Dogs not every man's best friend

Dogs not every man's best friend

Published at 12:41pm 23rd March 2016. (Updated at 1:08pm 23rd March 2016)

Shocking figures from the RSPCA reveal that dogs are Yorkshire's most persecuted pets.

Nearly 60% of complaints investigated last year related to them, which is more than twice the number of cases involving cats.

Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director for the RSPCA Inspectorate, said: "These stories show a snapshot of the horrific level of cruelty we have seen in the last year, which have to be some the most extreme cases I have ever heard of.

"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."

West Yorkshire tops the table for the number of people convicted, with North Yorkshire also featuring in the top 10 areas.

However, more owners were offered and accepted animal welfare advice.

The most shocking cases of animal cruelty include a dog which was left to become so matted that vets had to spend hours removing 750kg of fur.

Eight-year-old Fluffy - now called Troy - also lost his front left leg after it became infected.

Remarkably, he made a full recovery and has a loving home with new owner Kathryn Cawte.

She said: "Last summer, I saw Troy on the local RSPCA's website and I knew straightaway. He had been shaved and was looking very sorry for himself and he had such a cute face.

"We had recently lost an RSPCA rescue dog and it had left a big hole in our lives, so we were looking for another dog.

"Troy is a very pampered dog and would be on your lap every chance he got - he would be cuddled 24 hours a day if he could.

"All he needed was a few months of love and he gives more back to us than we could ever imagine."

Kathryn has to make allowances for Troy's three legs, as he's lost some confidence and can be worried about being knocked over.

He also struggles to walk in very muddy conditions.

RSPCA inspector Claire Little said: "I will never forget the smell of infected, rotting flesh that came from this poor boy once the fur, which was like concrete, was removed from his leg.

"I was involved in calming him and was present through the entire 2.5-hour period it took to remove the matting.

"He was incredibly brave, but had to be sedated in the end, as he was in a lot of pain with his leg."

Troy's original owner was banned from owning dogs for five years, sentenced to eight weeks' imprisonment suspended for one year and given an eight-week community order.

He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Another case involved four black and white kittens which were brutally killed by a North Yorkshire man.

Police and RSPCA officers found the bodies of the eight-week-old animals in a bin at his house.

RSPCA inspector Karen Colman said: "He told us he had broken the kittens' necks by strangling them, before hitting them over the head with a hammer to make sure they were dead.

"Blood was found on the paving slabs of the courtyard outside his home, so I assume this was where it happened.

"He said he did it because they had cat flu, but they were all in good body condition and no evidence of cat flu or any other illness was found either by our vet or in post-mortem, and he had sent text messages to his ex-partner earlier that day threatening to kill them.

"In fact, the kitten his ex-partner was the most fond of had received the worst of the blunt force trauma."

The 47-year-old was jailed for 20 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life, after admitting causing unnecessary suffering by killing the kittens in an inhumane and inappropriate manner.

Two adult cats, including the kittens' mother, have now been rehomed with a couple in Leyburn.

Christine and Geoff Albertis, who had recently lost a cat, adopted Sapphire and Diamond from the RSPCA's York Animal Home.

Mrs Albertis said: "They are very bonny-looking cats, and when we found out about their terrible background, we knew we wanted to take them home and give them a second chance at life.

"Sapphire settled in straightaway, although Diamond was more timid, but now they are very happy and content and it works both ways - we are happy to have them in our lives."

Anyone who would like to rehome a cat or dog can get more information at www.rspca.org.uk/rescuedpets

RSPCA - Diamond and Sapphire

Diamond and Sapphire in their new home