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INVISIBLE VICTIMS: The horrors of lockdown abuse as cats skewered on barbecues, puppies abandoned

In one of the worst cases, a tortured cat was found skewered, burned and lying dead on a disposable barbecue. So badly burned it was impossible to tell what color his fur was.

MIRANDA KNOX: Since the UK government lockdown restrictions began, RSPCA rescuers have so far dealt with 42,685 incidents of animal cruelty, neglect and suffering. Its cruelty hotline has received 2,443 reports of abandonment – an average of 39 incidents a day. As they’re only able to currently deal with emergencies, the animal charity fears the reports they’re receiving are just the tip of the iceberg, with people less likely to see or report animal abuse in the current climate… Sun Online speaks to the key workers responsible for rescuing distressed and neglected animals, and takes a closer look at the abuse happening during lockdown.

Sickeningly, in one of the worst cases since shutdown, last month a tortured cat was found skewered, burned and lying dead on a disposable barbecue in Doncaster. The animal was so badly burned it was impossible to tell what colour his fur was. The woman who found the remains and reported the incident to the RSPCA said: “At first, I thought it was some sort of stuffed toy, but when I got closer, I realised it wasn’t. “It was absolutely horrific. The look on its poor little face suggested it must have been tortured and died in agony.”

In another violent attack, a nesting swan was shot in the face with an air rifle – one of five shocking attacks in a ten day period leaving four swans injured and one dead. The bird was targeted in Thatcham, Berkshire, while tending to her unhatched eggs, and needed an operation to remove the 8mm pellet. With less park workers and members of the public around to witness such horrors, these creatures are left defenceless against vile attackers…

RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy tells Sun Online: “There’s a recognised link between domestic violence and violence against animals… and they can be used as a tool to control vulnerable people, for example threats to hurt the dog if the [victim] says anything. “We haven’t seen an increase in [abuse] reports so far – but this could be because it is going on behind closed doors.

“We also normally get reports when people are taking animals out on the street, or when a neighbour sees someone beating a dog in a garden. “Reports have tailed away but I suspect it hasn’t gone away. I think people might [turn a blind eye], and especially being home all the time, they may be more reticent about reporting a neighbour, whereas usually they would if they weren’t home as much. “There may be a feeling that they might be suspected for reporting it, and as they’re stuck at home they aren’t going to do it now”…

Animal collection officer Cara Gibbon is responsible for rescuing sick and injured animals, currently dealing with up to 10 emergency rescues a day during lockdown… Despite her decade of experience, Cara admits some parts of the job, like seeing an animal abandoned, never get easier. “When dogs have been tied up at the side of the road with a note to say they’ve come from a loving home – it really gets to me,” she says. SOURCE…

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