March dog cruelty case is used in RSPCA national campaign to end animal suffering

Daisy before being rehomed

Daisy before being rehomed - Credit: Archant

The story of 34 dogs kept in cramped cages by a March pet shop owner is being used as part of a national campaign to highlight dog cruelty.

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in March

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in March - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA has taken 10 cases from across the UK to highlight how man’s best friend is now the most persecuted pet in a bid to encourage people to report cruelty and reduce suffering.

Dermot Murphy, assistant director for the Inspectorate, said: “People think of dogs as man’s best friend but these statistics tell a different story. “The level of depravity we have seen in 2015 cases are up there with some of the most extreme we have ever known.”

Other cases of suffering include:

• A Staffordshire bull terrier that collapsed with scalds all over her body thought to be caused by boiling water in London

The Pet Shop Discount Warehouse. Rob Phipps.

The Pet Shop Discount Warehouse. Rob Phipps. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


• A stolen Chihuahua who was fed drugs and set on fire in Kent

?• A dog beaten over the head with a metal pole before having her head crammed into a plastic bag in an attempt to strangle her in London

Most Read

?• Wolfhounds left to suffer with fractured leg and open wounds unseen by a vet in Norfolk

?• A blind spaniel tied to a pallet of bricks and left for dead in Kent

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in Commercial Road, March

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in Commercial Road, March - Credit: Archant

The charity has released its annual cruelty statistics which show that almost 57 per cent of complaints investigated by the RSPCA in 2015 related to dogs compared to nearly 24 per cent of cats.

There were 81,146 investigations into cruelty towards dogs compared to 33,844 cats.

Greater London was named cruellest area in the country after figures revealed 6,137 dogs were involved in complaints investigated by the charity.

In Norfolk there were 2,689 and in Cambridgeshire 2,351.

A view of the cages at the warehouse run by Rob Phipps

A view of the cages at the warehouse run by Rob Phipps - Credit: Archant

On the rise are the number of owners who accepted animal welfare advice - 81,475 in 2015.

In 2000 this figure was around 4,000 and in 2007 around 78,000.

Chief superintendent for London and the south east, Insp Paul Stilgoe, said: “This year has seen some of the most distressing cases our inspectors have ever come across - and in so many cases the victims were dogs.

“The level of cruelty, neglect and abuse we see across the region on a daily basis is heartbreaking but thanks to the help of members of the public we have been able to make it a bit safer for these animals.”

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in Commerical Road, March

Before being rehomed - stuck in cages in a warehouse in Commerical Road, March - Credit: Archant

Locally the 34 dogs were found living in metal crates stacked on top of each other with no fresh drinking water when inspectors discovered them in a warehouse in Commercial Road, March.

Some have now been re-homed in Surrey.

RSPCA chief inspector Mark Thompson said: “The RSPCA was called in late 2013. There were serious concerns for their welfare, but despite several visits and a lot of welfare advice the conditions of these dogs did not improve and the advice was not followed.

“We then attended along with the police and a vet in February 2014 when police took the dogs and put them in RSPCA care.”

Daisy and Duke in their new home

Daisy and Duke in their new home - Credit: Archant

Rob Phipps was banned from keeping dogs for 18 months after he was found guilty of failing to provide a suitable environment and fresh drinking water for the 34 dogs, causing unnecessary suffering to one by housing it in a cage next to another dog, allowing them to fight through the bars and causing injuries to each other.

He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order and 180 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £60 surcharge.

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