Seven worst threats and weapons used against animals and RSPCA inspectors
A SICKENING arsenal of weapons including threats made with a crossbow, machete, shotgun and acts of violence against animals like beating a cat against a tree have been revealed by the RSPCA.
The animal charity launches new campaign Everyday Heroes today. With three out of four inspectors suffering some sort of abuse every year while doing their job, in 2012 inspectors were assaulted or threatened 246 times.
Some of the threats made against staff in the past two years have included:
A claw hammer;
This is hardly surprising, considering the kind of abuse the animals the RSPCA is trying to protect have to endure. This includes cases such as:
A dog beaten with a pole, leaving it with 30 fractures;
A swan shot with a cross bow;
A cat beaten against tree;
A three- week old lamb with its ears cut off;
A lurcher stamped on, run over and stabbed with a potato peeler;
A bird shot with blowgun dart straight through his eye;
A mouse tortured with power tool.
The nearest case involved a goose found on Burrator Reservoir in Yelverton in Devon with a crossbow arrow stuck right through his torso and bleeding heavily.
He was taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch wildlife centre in Somerset and they managed to remove the arrow without any damage to his vital organs.
RSPCA animal collection officer Simon Kite said:”It was a bit of a miracle. If that arrow had gone just a few millimetres in any direction it would have pierced the heart, lungs or spleen and would have been fatal.”
While he was away being treated his mate could be seen honking and flapping her wings in distress and as soon as she saw him again she came up the bank excitedly flapping her wings and drove Simon away from him.
RSPCA inspector Susan Haywood was assaulted last year. She said: “The bottom line is that the call comes in and your only thought is that there is an animal needing my help and you don’t even think about what could happen to you and whether there could be violence directed at you.”
“There was no way these animals can help themselves – that’s why our job is so important because we can get animals the help they so desperately need.”
That is why the charity is launching a brand new appeal today called Everyday Heroes which aims to highlight the unimaginable dangers facing many animals and help support the brave charity workers who try to protect them.
TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham said: “I take my hat off to RSPCA Inspectors, I wouldn’t want to go into the situations they do and deal with people who have inflicted such barbaric cruelty on defenceless animals - that takes real courage and professionalism.
“Sadly dealing with the most stomach-churning suffering is every day work to these men and women. I dread to think what would happen if they weren’t there to help."
RSPCA figures reveal that air rifle injuries on animals had leapt up by almost 40 per cent to almost 800 attacks reported to the charity in 2012. The horrific attacks include several cats shot in the face and whose eyes had to be removed and others who did not survive after being shot.
Actor and RSPCA vice president Brian Blessed said: “We are all revolted by reports of dogs being stabbed, swans being shot and cats being strangled, but we never stop to think about the brave inspectors who pluck these animals out of such dangerous situations.
“It’s shocking that these men and women face threats and violence as they rescue the most neglected and abused animals but without them there would be no RSPCA. They truly are Everyday Heroes.
“I urge all animal lovers to be heroes too and support these brave inspectors and the vital work they do.”
For more information on the appeal and how you can help, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/animalhero. You can also get involved via social media (#AnimalHero)
The charity can only help thanks to donations from the public, so please give what you can. To help the RSPCA carry out this vital work like this text HERO to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.