Friday, 13 January 2012

Sorry tale of six abandoned Lurchers

Today, I was horrified to read that a car full of Lurchers has been found abandoned outside a church in Staffordshire. The Staffordshire Sentinal reports that six of these beautiful dogs – apparently underweight but otherwise healthy and well-socialised – were found by police officers at 11.40pm on Wednesday. They stayed overnight at the police station before going to the Animal Lifeline charity’s kennels in Cellarhead. Police are working to trace the owner of the car, which it is believed was fitted with false number plates. Nobody knows where the Lurchers came from, whether they were abandoned by their owners or whether they were stolen and abandoned by the thieves.

This case is deeply disturbing and somewhat bizarre. Leaving the dogs in a car could be some misguided attempt to give them shelter until they were found – but it could also have led to the dogs not being spotted until it was too late. And surely, even if the car is stolen, it will contain evidence that could lead to the person who did this? I hope it does, and that they are made to understand the suffering they have caused.

Reading stories like this, I sometimes despair. While many pet-owners face the heartbreaking decision to rehome their pets through no fault of their own, it seems that a growing number of people are prepared to treat animals in an unbelievably callous and heartless way, as if they were disposable commodities that can be tossed aside like an unwanted toy. There is absolutely no excuse for abandoning a dog, when even an anonymous phone call would be enough to ensure that an animal is picked up, looked after and eventually rehomed.

Apart from national charities like Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, there are specific Lurcher rescue charities – such as Lurcher Link and Southern Lurcher Rescue – that could have offered advice and helped to rehome these dogs. Yes, these charities are all under tremendous pressure right now, but they will still do anything they can to help a dog in need.

I hope that some good will come of this situation, in the form of better education about the responsibilities of dog ownership and tougher penalties for cruelty and abandonment. But I’m not holding my breath, and in the meantime the best we can do is try to do something constructive to support the rescue and rehabilitation of those animals that so badly need it.

And if you do know or suspect anything that can help those six Lurchers, please call Staffordshire Police on 101 and quote incident 871 of January 11.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent article as always Jacqui. I was saddened to hear of this. Lately I have been hearing about people "disposing" of their animals via places like Gumtree, rather than seeking assistance from animal rescue centres. It is very worrying.

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  2. I am afraid that this statement is not correct "I hope that some good will come of this situation, in the form of better education about the responsibilities of dog ownership and tougher penalties for cruelty and abandonment. But I’m not holding my breath, and in the meantime the best we can do is try to do something constructive to support the rescue and rehabilitation of those animals that so badly need it.".
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