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‘Significant’ increase in dog cruelty since start of pandemic, RSPCA figures show

Greater Manchester was found to have some of the highest reports of cruelty in the country

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RSPCA

The RSPCA has revealed a significant increase in dog cruelty since the start of the Covid pandemic, with Greater Manchester having some of the highest cases in the country.

New figures released today as part of the animal welfare charity’s Cancel Out Cruelty campaign show that, despite the UK being a famously dog-loving nation, 92,244 dogs were reported to the RSPCA last year as victims of cruelty.

That’s 253 dogs a day and more than ten calls an hour. These statistics also included 10,228 dogs reported as being beaten by their owners.

This is a significant 16% increase since 2020 – when the pandemic took hold – with 79,513 reports of dogs being cruelly treated being made to the charity that year.

RSPCA

Factoring in the summer holidays and the ongoing cost of living crisis, the RSPCA is concerned that more dogs will fall victim to abuse and abandonment.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr. Samantha Gaines said: “A 16% increase of dogs being cruelly treated in a year is really concerning.

“Every year, we see many dogs coming into our care bearing the physical and mental scars that were inflicted at the hands of the very people who were meant to keep them safe and love them unconditionally.

“We believe there are a number of factors that mean summer is our busiest time. Perhaps there’s boredom or pressures at home with children being off school which can make existing difficulties magnified.

RSPCA

“This year the cost of living crisis has added a further dimension and we could see people really struggling to care for their pets which may lead them to lash out. We could also see more animals than ever being abandoned or given up.

“All these factors mean that we need the public’s support more than ever to help Cancel Out Cruelty.

“As a charity, we’re ready to tackle a summer of suffering but we can’t do this without your help. We rely on public support to carry on our rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming work.”

The RSPCA also received over 1 million calls to its Cruelty Line for all animals last year, which included 1,094 reports of animals being killed, 632 mutilations and 7,857 beatings.

RSPCA

Among these, there were 38,087 abandonments reported to the hotline, which equates to more than 100 animals callously abandoned every day.

Figures produced by the charity last month also showed that Greater Manchester has among the highest cases of animal abuse in the country, with there being 553 reports of intentional harm to animals made in the region last year – that’s the second highest rate in the country behind London.

To help prevent further suffering, the RSPCA has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, which aims to raise funds to help save animals in need of help.

Read more about the new campaign here.

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Second man arrested after girl, 6, abducted and assaulted

BREAKING: The girl was abducted on Wednesday afternoon

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A second man has been arrested on suspicion of abducting and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in Greater Manchester.

The man remains in custody for questioning, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed.

Previously a thirty-five-year-old man was arrested, but he has since been released with no further action taken.

Officers were first called to reports of an abduction at around 4pm on Wednesday, August 17th. The child was allegedly taken into a wooded area near a disused railway in Droylsden. 

There, the girl was taken to a van where she was sexually assaulted. She was taken back to the woods before managing to find her own way to a nearby park. 

She has since been reunited with her family, and is been supported by specialist officers.

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Teen girl who died after getting into difficulty in water is named

BREAKING: The teenager’s body was recovered overnight earlier this week

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The teenage girl who died after getting into difficulty in a lake in Stalybridge has been named as Lucy Smith.

The fourteen-year-old’s body was recovered from water near Crowswood Drive in Stalybridge after emergency services were called out at around 6:30pm on Monday (August 15th).

Police said the body was recovered overnight and was then formally identified.

A spokesperson for the Manchester South Coroners’ Court has now confirmed that a file in relation to Lucy’s death has been passed to the coroner.

An inquest will open at a later date. Police said they do not believe there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.

Detective Inspector Steven Horton, of GMP’s Tameside CID, said at the time of Lucy’s death: “Yesterday evening’s events are nothing short of devastating and my thoughts are with the friends and family of the young girl who lost her life in such awful circumstances.

“We are doing all we can to support the girl’s family at this incredibly difficult time, and we are focused on ensuring they get the answers they deserve as to how this tragedy occurred.

“From our enquiries so far, we are confident that there are no suspicious circumstances and that this is such a sad reminder of the dangers of entering open water, whatever the weather.”

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Man arrested after girl, 6, abducted and assaulted

A second man is still at large

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of abducting and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl in Droylsden, though the hunt for another man continues.

Police were first called to reports of an abduction at around 4pm yesterday (August 17th). They believe the girl was taken by a man on Warne Avenue and into a wooded area near the disused railway track towards Manchester Road.

There, the girl was taken to a van where she was sexually assaulted. She was taken back to the woods before managing to find her own way to a nearby park. 

She has since been reunited with her family, and is been supported by specialist officers.

Last night, Greater Manchester Police announced that a thirty-five-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault.

He was taken into custody to be questioned by detectives, who are ‘keeping an open-mind’ and continuing to hunt for another man who was ‘acting suspiciously’ in the area at the time.

Police released two pictures of the man, with the second image showing him on Gainsborough Road, heading towards The Snipe with his jacket removed around thirty minutes after the incident.

Anyone who sees the man should call 999, quoting incident 2270 of 17/08/2022. Other details – including sightings on CCTV, dash cam, or doorbell footage – can be passed to police via the LiveChat facility on the website or by calling 0161 856 9262.

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