Pressure on centre from puppy farms and cruel sports alike

An animal shelter in Bothwell Road is hitting capacity while still having to deal with the demands of vulnerable animals who have fallen prey to cruel owners who think that cruel sports like badger baiting are acceptable.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 9:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 9:14 am
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The Scottish SPCA finds itself in the difficult position of having to deal with a host of welfare issues that have arisen from the pandemic – like the rise in puppy farms where the wellbeing of any young dog is simply ignored in a sick quest to make money.

This puts stress on existing resources at shelters but hard-pressed staff carry on while picking up the pieces in caring for animals who find themselves at the centre of a brutal pursuit that has been linked to woodland across Lanarkshire.

The centre has opened up about a recent case involving a battle-scarred Bull Lurcher called Hank who was re-homed but not before receiving a high level of specialist care and attention that reflected the ordeal he had been put through via badger baiting

Hank is one happy puppy now, enjoying his home comforts.

In fact, a range of animals suffer in that process - small dogs wearing a locator collar are initially sent in to setts to find badgers underground.

When the baiters who are above ground recognise the signs the dog has found a badger, they dig down to where the badger is.

Once they uncover the badger, they set larger dogs, normally lurchers or bull breeds, like Hank, on the badger and a fight ensues.

Some baiters deliberately injure the badger first to give their dogs a better chance. Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Badger baiting is a truly abhorrent crime where there are no winners. The wild animal will almost always end up dead but it’s not only wildlife that suffers.

“Sadly we have had to euthanise dogs involved in badger baiting due to the severity of their injuries.

"We are dedicated to providing every animal with the best possible care, especially those like Hank who have been forced to engage in something as violent as badger baiting.

“Our expert teams are well equipped to rehabilitate an animal that has been through something as traumatic as Hank has."

Anyone who sees evidence of the crime is being asked to call the animal helpline on 03000 999 999.