Concern over cruelty to animals

AN RSPCA inspector today said he believed owners mistreating their dogs could be getting away with it, as people may be failing to report them.His warning comes as Kristine Hinton, 27, and Darrell Foreman, 31, of Richmond Road, Ipswich, told how they gave a border collie a home and nursed him back to health.

AN RSPCA inspector today said he believed owners mistreating their dogs could be getting away with it, as people may be failing to report them.

His warning comes as Kristine Hinton, 27, and Darrell Foreman, 31, of Richmond Road, Ipswich, told how they gave a border collie a home and nursed him back to health.

The couple said before they took Charlie in he was nervous, underweight and flea-bitten.

Miss Hinton said: "It is just terrible what people do to their pets. Charlie was completely neglected.

"If you have a dog that can't eat and has fleas and you can't afford to take him to the vet, then give him a new home. It is not fair."

The RSPCA is asking people to be vigilant.

Most Read

Mark Thompson, the RSPCA's chief inspector for Suffolk, said: "I think there is a lot of cruelty going on that may not be reported.

"When there is a relatively low rate of reporting, it makes us think people are not coming forward - and at the moment we don't seem to be having as many calls as we have done before in Suffolk."

Charlie's life was turned around after Miss Hinton saw him two years ago and decided to take action.

She said: "I saw him on several occasions when I was jogging in the Whitehouse area.

"He was on his own and did not have a collar. One time I put him in my back garden, but when I came back from work he was gone. I looked for him for about a week - and then I called the dog warden."

Miss Hinton discovered a dog matching his description had been handed in and was at a kennel near Stowmarket. As the dog was not claimed within seven days, the couple offered him a home.

Miss Hinton said: "He was awful looking and extremely thin.

"He was probably about five or six kilograms underweight, which is a lot for a dog that size. I could fit my hands around his waist, which was the size of my neck.

"He also had lots of fur missing. He had a lot of fleas and was allergic to them.

"I just saw him and knew he didn't have anyone taking care of him."

Helen Matthews, kennel manager at West End Rehoming, Buxhall, confirmed the dog was brought in thin, with bad ears and a suspected flea allergy and was rehomed with Mr Foreman in September 2002.

Charlie is now a lot better.

Miss Hinton said: "He used to refuse to eat if we weren't standing next to him, but he is a lot better now and he is full of energy. But he is very clingy.

"I think we are his third home and he his scared he is going to be left again."

Mr Thompson said every day the RSPCA gets around 12 calls about neglected dogs - or what people think are neglected dogs - in Suffolk.

If you believe an animal is being mistreated telephone the RSPCA hotline on 08705 555999

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter